On the latest edition of UFC Tonight, retired UFC legend BJ Penn stated his interest in coming out of retirement to fight Nik Lentz as a way of settling an ongoing feud with former fighter turned diet guru Mike Dolce.
Before we go any further let’s hit the rewind button to understand the bad blood between the two men.
It all stems from when Penn hired Dolce to help him cut down to featherweight for his final appearance in the Octagon last year in a trilogy fight with Frankie Edgar.
Penn made weight, but put in a dismal performance and was soundly beaten by Edgar for a third time, eventually losing by third round TKO. Afterwards ‘The Prodigy’ appeared to blame Dolce, stating that he, “would never hire him again for anything.”
That sparked off a war of words with both men giving conflicting opinions on what had gone on behind the scenes during Penn’s fight camp. Dolce claimed that he had only been drafted in for the final 20 days of his camp, had little influence what the Hawaiian was doing and questioned his strategy, saying that the former champion was only training once a day. Penn denied that, stating that he’d been training as much as 5-6 times a day.
Back in the present day Penn has now reignited the feud in a somewhat curious fashion by stating that he wants to beat up Lentz.
“I’m sick and tired of talking about Mike Dolce,” Penn said on the show. “You know what, Mike Dolce? I put a challenge out right now, you go grab Nik Lentz, that’s your boy? Bring him down to 145 [pounds]. I’ll run right through him in one round and then I’ll find you in the back and I’ll smash you, OK? Let’s do that right now. I’m ready.
“Mike Dolce wants to say all this stuff. I don’t train. I don’t this and that. Let’s do this. Bring him down to 145. It sounds like I would. I would come out [of retirement] for that.”
So, at this stage you could be forgivene for wondering what’s Lentz got to do with it? Well, it turns out that he was drafted in by Dolce as a training partner for Penn, but only lasted four rounds before having to leave the cage bleeding after Penn apparently got the upper-hand against him.
Penn appears to be under the impression that Lentz is still under Dolce’s wing, but making the whole thing just a bit more farcical, ‘The Carny’ has responded to him by revealing that he’s not worked with the dietician for some time.
“I don’t even and have not worked with Dolce for quite some time,” Lentz wrote on Instagram. “…so fighting with me will have nothing to do with Dolce…but for the record…fuck you BJ. You talk too much now…you use to be about actions, but now like the spoiled little rich kid you are, all you do is talk. I’ll gladly fight you anytime. So get your mom and daddy to paint you some plans, fly Hawaii out to Vegas, give little baby Penn what he wants and come out of retirement …. This time I’ll make sure to retire you properly #BringPennBack”
Whether the lack of Dolce’s involvement will dampen Penn’s enthusiasm for the Lentz match-up remains to be seen, but by the sounds of things in his interview last night, ‘The Prodigy’ is just itching for a fight.
“I’m ready for something like that. I’ve been hanging out. I haven’t stepped in the gym for two years. I’ll come out for the grudge match and we’ll see what happens after that.”