One of the UFC 127 storylines going slightly overlooked is the drastic change in diet Jon Fitch has made prior to this fight with BJ Penn. Following in the footsteps of number one welterweight contender Jake Shields, Fitch has gone completely vegan and has apparently lost quite a bit of weight as a result, though he raves about the diet’s effects.
Soon-to-be UFC featherweight Kenny Florian told SBNation that he recently ran into Fitch, and spoke with the American Kickboxing Academy team captain about his new diet and diminished size, which are rumored to be of concern to his camp.
“I just was with him at the last UFC (126) in Vegas,” Florian said of Fitch. “He’s actually walking around at 176lbs. He’s a vegan now. He’s 100 percent vegan. He’s changed his whole lifestyle. And the first thing I said to him ‘Man, you’re looking pretty darn skinny’ and he said, ‘yeah, I’m a vegan now and I’m 176lbs right now.’ That is actually, I hear, maybe even a concern with people in his own camp.”
Fitch will be taking on MMA legend BJ Penn this weekend in the main event of UFC 127, and Florian, a part-time analyst for ESPN’s MMA Live, predicts a victory for “The Prodigy.”
“BJ Penn always has a chance. The guy’s extremely dangerous on his feet. He’s going to be a little bit tougher to take down than Jon Fitch thinks…,” said Florian. “At three rounds, I give a little bit more of a chance to BJ because I think a three-round BJ is different than a five-round BJ. A three-round BJ will go for it right from the outset. He’ll be very aggressive. He’ll kind of just let it loose for every single round. As soon as that bell starts. I noticed a five-round BJ, he really paces himself, he’s really unsure of the pace he needs to go at.”
UFC 127: Penn vs. Fitch goes down this Saturday night at the Acer Arena in Sydney, Australia (Sunday morning in Australia). Don’t forget to check back on FightLine.com for our live, ongoing coverage of UFC 127.