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Trainer: BJ Penn was battling a sinus infection and taking antibiotics at UFC 112


Props: Cage Potato


"I feel BJ won the fight. He was also battling a sinus infection and was on antibiotics, so he was not one hundred percent. I’m not making any excuses, that is just what happened. I didn’t see him lose that fight but I did see him lose the last round. As for effectiveness of punches, I thought BJ had it. Frankie got two takedowns but BJ got up real fast and nothing happened on the ground there, so I don’t know if they could score the fight based on those two takedowns. I’m not taking anything from Frankie Edgar. He fought a real good fight and had a good strategy. His stand-up was good, he was moving a lot in and out real fast. Frankie fought a very good and strategic fight. I don’t want this to be about criticizing Frankie because I like him and he fought well. Going into the fifth round I told BJ that he had to win this round to win the fight. But sometimes things don’t go the right way. Being on antibiotics and struggling to get better from being sick and having a fever over the course of two weeks, these were some of the factors that slowed him down. That wasn’t the BJ Penn that we had in camp for three months going through sparring partners the way he did. We never took Frankie Edgar like he wasn’t a world contender. We took him very serious. We knew he could do damage to BJ in stand up and with takedowns. We were working BJ Penn wasn’t 100 percent, what you saw in the fight was him battling being sick. He didn’t want to call Dana three weeks before the fight and cancel because he was sick. BJ being the champion that he is just went in there and fought."

Rudy Valentino, longtime trainer for former UFC Lightweight Champion BJ Penn, discusses the medical ailments that afflicted "The Prodigy" during his UFC 112 loss to new division title holder Frankie Edgar. The Hawaiian looked tentative and sometimes lethargic throughout the five round bout and appeared to have difficulty adjusting to the speed and quickness of "The Answer." The Penn camp wants an immediate rematch but may have to wait and see how the promotion responds to Gray Maynard's request for first crack at the gold. Anyone feel like this fight would have gone any differently if Penn was healthy? Or is this just another bargain-bin excuse following an uninspiring performance? Opinions please.

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