Coming in to the UFC 127 headlining bout between B.J. Penn and Jon Fitch, the deciding factor on the bout would probably be Penn's chances of keeping it standing long enough. Can Penn defend the takedown, or will this turn into a trademark Jon Fitch bout? Those predicting that the AKA product will be able to implement his game and grind out a decision, are hinging on the fact that he will be having a huge size advantage come fight time. That may not be the case though, as Kenny Florian says his new diet has robbed him of that size advantage.
Florian talked about it with Luke Thomas on MMA Nation:
"I know you mentioned him walking around at 200lbs, that is definitely the case. However, I just was with him at the last UFC in Vegas [UFC 126] he's actually walking around at 176lbs," Florian stated. "He's a vegan now. He's 100 percent vegan. He's changed his whole lifestlye. And the first thing I said to him 'Man, you're looking pretty darn skinny' and he said, 'yeah, I'm a vegan now and I'm 176lbs right now'. That is actually I hear maybe even a concern with people in his own camp."
"Listen, I think B.J. Penn always has a chance. The guy's extremely dangerous on his feet. He's going to be a little bit tougher to take down than Jon Fitch thinks. I would give even more of a chance to Jon Fitch if it was a five-rounder. At three rounds, I give a little bit more of a chance to B.J [Penn] because I think a three-round B.J. [Penn] is different than a five-round B.J. [Penn]. A three-round B.J. [Penn] will go for it right from the outset. He'll be very aggressive. He'll kind of just let it loose for every single round. As soon as that bell starts. I noticed a five-round B.J. [Penn], he really paces himself, he's really unsure of the pace he needs to go at."
Fitch also wrote about his diet:
This move towards a healthier lifestyle began in the weeks leading up to UFC 100, when I was preparing to face Paulo Thiago and, a few weeks out from the fight, decided to cut out meat from my diet and eat purely raw and organic foods. I noticed the difference straight away and felt great as a result.
Then, last December, I stumbled across a book called The China Study by T. Colin Campbell, and read it from front to back while out in Australia a couple of months ago promoting this upcoming UFC 127 show... I discovered that many of life's diseases are linked to animal products, preservatives and processed foods and that we, as human beings, are given a choice as to whether we need to eat these foods or not.
Since reading the book, I've basically tried to eat as cleanly as possible and take in as many whole foods and raw foods as I can. I also minimize my meat intake to at least five percent or less of my overall calories.
As far as improvements go, my recovery is now a lot quicker than it was before the diet and I'm able to work-out a lot more as a result. My energy levels have also gone through the roof. I've never felt this energized in my life before. I never even had this amount of energy when I was 20-years-old.
My body fat has also reduced significantly, and I don't really store any food after consumption. Everything I put into my body is burnt off pretty quickly and that is one of the reasons why I need to eat a lot during the day.