FRIDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/14: B.J. Penn looks to his past to bring back his fighting edge (w/Henry’s Analysis)

By Cole Henry, MMATorch contributor

B.J. Penn (photo credit Mark J. Rebilas © USA Today)

B.J. Penn isn’t done yet. He’s now made a move that he hopes keep him relevant as at least a legend in special attraction fights where he doesn’t look like just a shell of his former self.

Years ago, in a land before McGregor, the UFC Lightweight Division was dominated by a different sort of monster. Penn was the reining and defending UFC Lightweight Champion, but he was coming off a loss to Georges St. Pierre in the Welterweight Division. Despite dominant performances in winning the belt against Joe Stevenson and defending it against Sean Sherk, Penn still felt that he needed an edge following the GSP loss. He found it in two strength and conditioning coaches, Marv and Gary Marinovich.

Penn would have two of his best performances while working with them, those being his victories over Kenny Florian and Diego Sanchez, but the relationship was relatively short lived and before long they were no longer working together.

Marv Marinovich has since retired, but his brother Gary is still active and recently spoke on The Luke Thomas show about working with Penn again. Obviously, the circumstances are different, time has passed, and Penn isn’t the same fighter that he was when he was working with the Marinovich brothers before, but this is no doubt an attempt to regain some of the former glory that has alluded Penn as of late, and it perhaps shows that he was not completely discouraged following his latest setback to Yair Rodriguez.

Henry’s Analysis: I’m not sure that cardio or conditioning has really been the issue as of late, but I guess something like this can’t hurt Penn as this stage. I enjoy his fights, and if he is going to continue on, a guy like Dennis Siver is a good opponent for him, and with the discipline that will come from working with Gary Marinovich, we may possibly see a vintage performance from the prodigy. 


-All fighters made weight for UFC on Fox 24

-Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has signed a new UFC deal heading into his bout at UFC on Fox 24. It was noted earlier in the week that he was on the final fight of his previous contract and due to become a free agent.

-Newly signed Bellator fighter and BJJ Blackbelt Dillon Danis made news this week when it was announced that Marcelo Garcia asked the outspoken Danis to take some time away from the gym. He will be grappling Jake Shields soon, and is expected to debut in Bellator’s Welterweight Division in the near future.

-Former WSOF Bantamweight Champion Marlon Moraes will be making his UFC debut against Raphael Assuncao at UFC 212. Moraes was nothing short of dominate in WSOF and a win over Assuncao makes him an immediate fighter to watch in the 135 division.

-Reminder: Plenty of MMA this weekend. Bellator on Friday, UFC on Saturday, and Rizin FF on late Saturday night/Sunday morning.

NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: THURSDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/13: Jimi Manuwa angling to move ahead of Jones for shot at Cormier (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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