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Mike Dolce responds to BJ Penn criticism, says 'Prodigy' wasn't training enough during 'odd' camp

The cat, as they say, is out of the bag.

Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

B.J. Penn recently came out and said that he "would never hire Mike Dolce for anything again."

Dolce, a man who has made a name for himself for helping top mixed martial arts (MMA) fighters make weight for their fights, assisted "The Prodigy" in his cut down to 145-pounds for his featherweight bout against Frankie Edgar, which went down at The Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 19 Finale on July 6, 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Though Penn never clarified why he put Dolce on blast, Mike took the high road and "kept his mouth shut" after catching wind of the comments.

But during a recent guest spot on "The Joe Rogan Experience," (via MMA Junkie), Dolce opened up about his experience with Team Penn and declared that he did all he could to help the former champion reach his goals.

And whatever beef Penn may have with him, Dolce insists his loss to "The Answer" had nothing to do with his diet and indicates that "Baby J" may have not trained enough or properly for the bout.

Check it out:

"It was really an odd situation. Back when we filmed ‘The Ultimate Fighter,' he was in the low 160s. Then they broke off communication with me after ‘The Ultimate Fighter' was over. I didn't hear from anybody from their team (or) their camp until the very end of May, which is just a few weeks before fight week. They were in a bit of crisis mode. I didn't get to Hawaii to actually be a part of the team until June 9, which is less than a month before the fight. When I got there, B.J. said, ‘I weigh 157 pounds, but I went out last night with Dominick Cruz and I had some pizza, and I still weigh 157 today.' And I'm thinking, ‘Oh, why the fuck do you need me to be here?' If you're 157 pounds, you're 10 pounds over what the weight class is after eating some bad shit."

According to Mike, the eating regimen he laid out was on point, but the advice he offered up to the camp wasn't always taken into consideration.

"It was one of the oddest training camps I've ever been a part of, and I was there for less than two weeks, physically, in Hawaii. I had very little influence. I made some strong suggestions and very strong observations to members of the team about what I saw, what I'm accustomed to and what I think would really benefit him. The suggestions that I made, I made them officially, and they were accepted but not responded or reacted to. It was just a matter of that's the direction he chose to go. He's either going to win and look like a fucking genius, or he's going to not win and he's going to make the oddsmakers look like geniuses."

One of the big issues Dolce had with was the intensity, or lack thereof, Penn showed during training. Because instead of focusing on technique and strategy, they were more worried about the weight cut at times.

"(I had issues with) the training frequency. I don't believe he was training enough. All the other athletes I work with train much more often. (He trained) once a day, but not quite every day. The type of training was less. I don't know why there were no coaches there that were truly able to make influence."

Still, Dolce says Team Penn also didn't always 100-percent effort with the diet he laid out.

"A lot of the things that were said are factually incorrect. He had a house full of food. I personally brought tons of amazing food that was available. He was two minutes from a Whole Foods right down the street. His house had 10 gallons of water in it, a gallon of coconut water and running water. There's sea salt everywhere. I brought a huge vat of the power pasta. I don't restrict anything. Again, I had very little influence, very little influence. I was more like a chef. I would bring some really delicious food, and some things would get eaten. Some things wouldn't."

Penn successfully made the 145-pound limit, however; the fight was the compete opposite, as Penn lost to Edgar via third round technical knockout (TKO), forcing him to retire.

Video highlights here.

And like striking coach Jason Parillo did before him, Dolce says none of the blame should be placed on his shoulders for Penn's performance. If anything, his presence with the team was one of the only good things about his preparation.

"We knew it was a very uphill battle. I know what happened. I know what my influence, or lack of influence, was. I will go down with the fucking ship. Any athlete that works with me knows the type of person I am, and I've built a solid reputation with the industry. It was uncalled for, it was unfair, and I kept my mouth shut because I want to be a professional. I know what I did, and I think I was one of the only bright positives with true world-class experience that was around him. I didn't have to be a part of that camp. It was very difficult. You look at the fight and what happened, it had nothing to do with food."

How about it Maniacs, what's your take on Dolce's statements?

Should Penn come out and clarify what exactly his beef with the diet expert is in order to get a better understanding of the whole situation?

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