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BJ Penn fires back at Mike Dolce: I spent $1,000 per day on famed 'Diet' and still wasn't fed

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Mark Nolan

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) two-division titleholder, BJ Penn, retired from mixed martial arts (MMA) last July, following a technical knockout loss to Frankie Edgar, which marked the Hawaiian's 145-pound debut. To help him reach his new weight class, "The Prodigy" hired famed weight-cutting expert Mike Dolce.

But from what he told, it sounds like a case of buyer's remorse.

"I hadn't been to 145 (pounds) in 18 years and that cut was intimidating. I wanted to get it right, so we brought in Mike Dolce, and paid him $22,000 for 21 days of service. That's $1000 per day plus a $1000 tip. I turned down the I.V. [after weigh ins], so Dolce made an attempt to rehydrate me in a different way that he does. Dolce didn't come to check on me [the next day], or monitor my weight, and I couldn't get in touch with him. I don't feel there was any real attempt to get back to my sparring weight after weighing in. From all my years of experience in the UFC, every second counts from the scale to the cage, and Mike Dolce didn't share the same mentality as I did. Dolce made every meal I ate the whole time I was there [in Vegas], and now after the fact, he says I should have went and ate my own food if I was hungry. After the fight I asked him why he fed me so little on fight day and all he said was, ‘Why didn't you go eat if you were hungry?' I replied, ‘I was waiting for the $20,000 dollar man to tell me what to do,' then he said, ‘Take your $20,000 back then.' I figured that paying this guy $1,000 a day, I could just focus on the fight and Dolce would focus on the food and weight cut. But I guess that was my job to focus on the food, and my weight, and the money was charity for the Dolce Diet."


Dolce tells a different side of the story (read it here), insisting Penn had a very "odd" training camp, one that included an unusually relaxed training schedule. It was that, argues the creator of "The Dolce Diet," and not his meal plans, that contributed to "The Prodigy's" poor performance.

Whose side are you taking?