"I actually just got back from spending a week in Hawaii with BJ. Just to show you how serious we are about making this a reality, we are 6 months out from the fight and we already started working...I think at 145, we are going to see the true BJ Penn...At 145, he's going to have every skill set necessary to be the first ever 3-division world champion in mixed martial arts," stated diet and nutritional guru Mike Dolce, who talked about the work he's doing with former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn. Check out what else he had to say!
PC: How is it going my man?
MD: I've been wonderful. Life is good and I'm blessed to be as busy as I am and to be able to help people achieve their dreams.
PC: I know there is a huge list of fighters you are currently working with. Give me a short list of some of the guys you are currently working with.
MD: I try to keep it to about 6 to 8 full-time guys. My full-time guys right now would be BJ Penn, Gilbert Melendez, Nick Lentz, who is fighting Chad Mendes, Kelvin Gastelum, Thiago Alves, who is coming back after being on the shelf for awhile, and we also have Mike Pyle. And then of course Vitor Belfort and Chael Sonnen. I also have Luke Barnatt, who will be competing on the 26th in Manchester. Those are a few guys I can ramble off right now who are going to be busy here in the next couple of months.
PC: When you have a guy like Thiago Alves, who is known for struggling to make weight, do you have a different approach for him or do you approach most of these guys the same?
MD: I approach all of these guys the same and what I do is, I don't force them to do it my way; I troubleshoot their way and make adjustments. That way, it's an easy transition. So the principle never changes, but the personal application is different.
PC: Have you started the process of getting BJ Penn down to 145 or do you not need extra time to get him where he needs to be?
MD: We have already started. I actually just got back from spending a week in Hawaii with BJ. Just to show you how serious we are about making this a reality, we are 6 months out from the fight and we already started working.
PC: Do you feel with BJ, it's more about conditioning or dieting?
MD: I think at 145, we are going to see the true BJ Penn. When he won the world title at 170 and when he won the world title at 155, those were two weight classes above his natural body weight. His natural competition weight is 145 pounds, and we are gonna show that. So it's not a matter of conditioning or dieting or training; it's a matter of everything. At 145, he's going to have every skill set necessary to be the first ever 3-division world champion in mixed martial arts.
PC: He's been away from the sport for awhile, so I have to ask, when you arrived in Hawaii, did you like what you saw or is there work to be done?
MD: Ah, he's awesome. He's already in the low 160's and he's training very hard. He's training just as hard now as most people are 6 weeks before a fight.
PC: You have worked with Chael Sonnen for a long time. I feel like this fight against Rashad will be a war of attrition. What do you feel you need to do in order to make Chael have a successful fight?
MD: With Chael, he is one of the most talented athletes I have ever had the chance to work with. With Chael versus Rashad, you know exactly what those two guys are bringing to the table. Their wrestling is just stellar. I believe Chael is the better wrestler and I believe Chael is in better condition and when it comes to striking and standup, I think they are equal. As far as being a veteran and ring or cage generalship, they have both been in there with the same caliber of guys, but this is going to come down to the small pieces of who wants this more. I think Chael wants this more than Rashad right now.
PC: I know you say the approach is the same with all fighters, but Vitor is a little bit older than most guys you take on. Is there a different approach for him or the same as you stated earlier?
MD: I handle him the same. As part of my program, I emphasize rest and recuperation. That is first and foremost. Most of the coaches on these teams don't do that. They just grind their guys away. Some of the younger guys can get away with that grind, but these older guys cannot. So Vitor Belfort is the perfect athlete. He gets it. He is really intelligent and he lives this lifestyle 365 days a year, as we can see with his recent performances. Vitor eats perfectly every single day. He trains intelligently and he rests completely. The missing link that most people don't have, Vitor loves it. Every day is a blessing and a joy to him and he is just constantly moving forward.
BE SURE TO CHECK BACK SOON FOR MUCH MORE WITH MIKE DOLCE
[ Follow Percy Crawford on Twitter @MrFighthype ]