The_Power Posted August 28, 2010 Report Share Posted August 28, 2010 from mmaweekly.com Fighter vs. athlete. It's been an argument raised by former UFC lightweight champion B.J. Penn several times. He always falls solidly on the side that he's a fighter, and does not consider himself an athlete. Penn has now turned that opinion of fighter vs. athlete into the debate about the rash of decisions taking place in MMA, and the judges who are scoring the bouts. A participant in a razor close decision in his last fight with Frankie Edgar, Penn admits that there is always a pressure to finish fights, but maybe never more than there is now as he tries to win back the UFC lightweight championship. "I think every fighter should have that same motivation to want to finish, because it puts more money in all of our pockets, and it builds the UFC, and it just makes everybody happy all the way around," said Penn recently. Finishing fights is part of the philosophy that Penn holds on to. It?s what makes him a fighter, and so many others involved in MMA today just athletes. He's seen a change in the mental make-up of many athletes competing in MMA currently. He sees many fighters fighting ?not to lose? instead of gunning for a win. "There is a lot of controversy of people taking the 'fighting' out of 'Ultimate Fighting,' and they really want to go to decisions, and they feel happy with that. If that's the way they like to do things, that's the way they do it. For me, I've always been about the fight, and I'm more of a fighter than an athlete," Penn stated. "Maybe that's why people have said I don't come in shape and these kind of things because that's what I am. I'm not an athlete. I didn't grow up playing all types of sports my whole life, all I ever did was get into a fight and a lot of it was over emotion." Seeing the changes in the demeanor of many fighters in the UFC today, Penn believes that they would rather squeak out a decision than leave it all in the cage and go for a finish. He says it's a frightening trend that has taken many jiu-jitsu practitioners out of their games, and given the upper hand to the fighter perceived to be in control because they are on top. "I definitely see that trend, and another trend I see is every fighter looks the same. Every fighter looks exactly the same. It's just crazy now, but it's the future of this sport, and how our sport has evolved. Nobody wants to be on their back because even if a guy doesn't do one bit of damage, he's still going to lose the fight and that really is effecting how the fighters fight," Penn commented. The argument that the native Hawaiian brings up comes full circle to the judges that are watching and scoring the fights in the UFC and other MMA organizations around the world. Penn takes a harsh stance when talking about judges, and says that something has to change, or the mentality that's being absorbed throughout the sport will change MMA forever. "The judges, as we all know, still don't know what they're doing," said Penn. "The judging, I don't think anyone should get points for any of the grappling positions. It's like what's the sense in taking Demian Maia down, and why should you get points for that, and why should you get points for mounting James Toney. "It just doesn't make sense to me. It's just all about damage and submission attempts, that's the only things that really matter in the fight." Is that a direct swipe at many of the wrestlers now competing in MMA? Penn never states that directly, but it has been a point of contention with many fans and critics around MMA, scoring on how much weight a takedown carries, versus other scoring criteria. Penn never backs down from his stance on what makes the difference between MMA and other competitions out there. He is planning on helping to stop the current trend whenever and wherever he steps foot in the Octagon. "I vote to keep the fight in ?Ultimate Fighting.?? Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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