Since the aftermath of UFC 94, rooting against BJ Penn has become more American than Little League and stealing cable. Seemingly every MMA thread, regardless of the original topic, turns into a BJ Penn hate fest. I have many theories as to why that is, but that's a different story for a different day.
I could be wrong, but it seems to me that most people, not all, are picking Kenny Florian to beat BJ purely out of spite. The reasons they come up with as to why Kenny is the superior fighter are, for the most part, utterly ridiculous and/or completely untrue.
Though I found it an arduous task to narrow it down to just ten, here are the ten most ridiculous (yet very popular) reasons as to why people think Kenny is the next champ at 155, and my responses to each one.
These are in no particular order.
10. "Kenny's last fight was in November, and BJ's was in January. That means Kenny had two extra months to prepare for this fight."
Please. Kenny started his training camp in late May, as did BJ. They've spent an equal amount of time preparing for this fight. Unless you're nursing an injury, an extended layoff is not beneficial at all.
9. "BJ got destroyed by GSP. He's washed up and needs to retire."
Since when did losing to GSP mean you were washed up? I guess Thiago Alves needs to retire too.
8. "Kenny is gonna win because BJ is a cry baby."
This is by far the most popular reason and doesn't really warrant a response.
7. "BJ's cardio is terrible."
It amazes me how many fans don't know the difference between a cut BJ at 155 and a bloated BJ at 170. Which fights did BJ's cardio cause problems? Matt Hughes and both fights with GSP.
Other than maybe UFC 39, when was the last time BJ gassed at 155? Oh yeah, never.
6. "Kenny beat Joe Stevenson in one round, and it took BJ two rounds."
Yeah, but when Stevenson fought BJ, he ended up like this:
5. "Kenny is gonna win because he trained with GSP."
Unless GSP showed Kenny how to pack on 20 pounds of sheer muscle and become a world class wrestler, it isn't gonna make a difference. If anything, GSP kicked Kenny's ass to the point where Kenny thought to himself: "BJ lasted 20 minutes with this guy? I'm screwed."
4. "In an interview, GSP picked Kenny to win."
You mean the same guy who picked Patrick Cote to beat Anderson Silva? The same guy who picked Keith Jardine to beat Wanderlei Silva? The same guy who picked Rashad Evans to beat Lyoto Machida?
Are you telling me that the guy BJ belittled for months and accused of cheating is picking him to lose? Get outta here.
3. "BJ is surrounded by 'yes men' and low quality training partners."
For this camp, BJ's regular training partners included Leo Vieria, Hermes Franca, Yves Edwards, Nate and Nick Diaz, Antoni Hardonk and Vitor Belfort. He also brought in Gegard Mousasi and Fedor for a few days.
2. "BJ is unmotivated for this fight."
Not only is this statement 100 percent speculation, but there is glaring evidence to the contrary. And remember what happened the last time BJ lost a welterweight title fight? Very bad things for the rest of the lightweight division.
1. "Kenny flat out trained harder than BJ for this fight."
Did you fly back and forth between Boston and Costa Mesa to observe both training camps? Have Rudy Valentino and Mark DellaGrotte given you detailed descriptions of the training that went on during these camps?
Didn't think so.
So in reality, you don't have any idea who worked harder than who, now do you?
If anyone truly believes Kenny is gonna win this fight, that's fine. But come on, let's hear some legitimate reasons. Believe it or not, I have yet to hear one.
Sorry Kenny, but your chances are slim to none, and it looks like slim just left town.