T Nation

UFC 123


so, i was watching the preview for UFC 123, and saw that Troy Mandalonez is BJ Penn's head trainer...really? i thought he was an okay fighter, but more or less blessed with the ability to take a punch and that's about it.

is he actually more accomplished than just BJ's buddy?


lol not really.

he has 5 fights

3 wins. 2 losses.


Being great at a sport rarely means you are a great coach. In fact, the highest performers are often not able to teach very well because the same brain types that gives them an advantage in competition (able to be a blank slate who is totally in the moment) makes it hard for them to analyze exactly how that performance is achieved. Most of the top coaches in any sport have substantial playing experience, but rarely made it to the highest professional level or, if they got there, were fairly marginal players. Compare NFL coaches like Sean Payton, Mike Tomlin, and Bill Belicheck (never made it to the pros) to guys like Mike Singletary and Jack Del Rio who had great pro careers.


yeah, that's true, but does he have a lot o experience as a coach or trainer?

as a fighter he was basically a brawler, so i suspect he's not really very technical...


Maybe Troy's been holding out on us? :smiley:

In all seriousness, this reinforces the idea that Penn's camp is substandard.


you know what they say: Those who cant do, teach.



i dunno... i could be wrong, and maybe he's just one fo the guys that can read people and break everything down, too...

i was just curious if he had an "real" credentials, or something more specific...


freddie roach was a brawler


Is this true? He looks to have a relatively technical approach in this fight. Either way, one can be a brawler and understand fundamentals, technique, strategy, footwork etc. The difference here is that while Freddie was a pretty decent fighter in his weightclass, Troy wasn't/isn't. It could have been a case of him being a poor executor I suppose.


neither are any top mma coaches


Miletich was pretty damn good, Ricardo Liborio at ATT was a very high level BJJ player, Camarillo is a respected BB. Most specialty coaches in MMA have done something in their field to warrant being part of a top camp (good example would be GSPs collection of coaches). They've either competed at a high level in their art, coached/trained fighters of a high level, or done something else to attain that position. Troy, with all due respect, hasn't done anything of note in the sport or it's components to justify him being the head trainer of a Penn camp.

I'm not saying he's a bad coach or anything. Perhaps he gets the job done exceptionally well. I'm simply saying it looks like he was given the position as a favor more than anything.


I wouldn't say that at all.
A true champ often doesn't know how precisely all his natural gifts fit together while others spent years finetuning every piece of the puzzle to barely touch the vicinity of the talented some day.

I've even found that champions sometimes give ridiculous advice that's flat out wrong.

Add to all this that fighting attracts mainly bad dudes with shady backgrounds, not sensitive thinkers and you got the dilemma of learning the arts of combat.

And to further disprove that quote, GSP, a true thinking champ, is probably a great coach. I haven't seen a single episode of the new tuf, so I might be wrong but read some forum-posts.
A talent like Rampage on the other hand -physically and mentally gifted for fighting- was utterly laughable as a teach (that season I've seen a few times).


MMA has a huge amount of non shady fighters. And GSP isn't really coaching he's advising and letting his coaches coach TUF.


I don't like these vague generalizations. Fighting isn't football, and football isn't fighting.

There's great fighters who become great coaches, just like there are great fighters who don't become great coaches. Take Kyokushin for example, many of the top competitors are also -gasp- top teachers, as they are expected to be when they become black belts.

It just seems rather retarded to say "if you were x this you can't be y this". Brock Lesnar can't compete in real fighting because he was a fake fighter!??!


If Troy found some way to have him NOT gas by round 2 that alone would put him light years ahead of all BJ's previous trainers.


How can you NOT be a fan of Phil Davis? Great prospect pedigree, tons of talent, and obviously a great work ethic. In every interview he comes off as very confident in his own abilities, yet humble at the same time. He obviously believes he can win, but always seems to give every opponent his full respect.

He's obviously not there just yet in terms of complete skillset, but I think he will be challenging for a belt at some point in 2012.


2013 maybe


2013 maybe[/quote]

Sorry sir; I forgot you had the crystal ball


Sorry sir; I forgot you had the crystal ball
it's ok, let me know if you want to know anything else. Oh wait "Jtrinsey will get a sex change in Februaury." Well sucks to be you