BJ Penn’s longtime coach and friend, Jason Parillo spoke to Ariel Helwani on The MMA Hour about BJ’s upright striking style, and why he does not advocate that style.
“I would never in a million years develop that new style,” Parillo said. “Never in a million years.
“I got called a week before the fight to work his corner for the fight, so I, myself, hadn’t spent time in camp at all with B.J. … I answered yes automatically because he’s my friend. So I didn’t know. They explained to me kind of the gameplan the week of the fight, and I was actually rooming with his boxing coach the whole week, so I was listening to him, talking to him about what they were doing. At that point, it’s not my position to make any adjustments, like, ‘no, no, no, let’s do this, let’s do that,’ because it’s too late for that. It’s too late. He’s been doing this s–t for two years. What, am I going to come in the week of the fight and change a whole gameplan? Change a whole style around? That’s not going to happen, nor does B.J. want me to make that happen. He doesn’t want that to happen, he wants to go in there with want they have planned.”
“Everybody and their mother is calling me up going, what the f–k?” Parillo said. “They’re going, what the f–k, Jay? What is that? And I’m like, I don’t know. If you can see it (not working) on TV, I can imagine how the audience is seeing it. But you know, that’s B.J. B.J. gets something set in his head and he likes it, and apparently it was working for him in the gym, so he wanted to go from there.
“I wanted him bending his knees. It’s called sitting down on your punch in boxing, and that way you can use your legs to help with your head movement, help with your footwork, help with all this stuff. He just says he doesn’t like that style anymore because it made him too tired. So at the end of the day, what can I do? He’s my friend and I’ve got to support him. I always have and I always will.”