Nutritionist Mike Dolce, who has worked with several of MMA’s biggest names (including women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey), has seen his share of controversies in recent years.
But in the last week, Dolce has seen more of the spotlight than usual. First came headlines from from former client BJ Penn, who publicly challenged Dolce in an appearance on UFC Tonight. Then, prior to UFC 192, Dolce’s former client Johny Hendricks was forced to pull out of a fight due to intestinal blockage and kidney stones.
Dolce discussed both yesterday on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani.
While he had nothing but positive things to say about Penn — calling him “a legend in our sport” and “a once in a lifetime athlete” — he evinced frustration, as well as concern, regarding Hendricks.
“He really mistreats his body in the off-season,” Dolce said. “He’s not a 19, 20 year old kid wrestling at Oklahoma. He’s a 30-some odd year old man with three babies and another on the way. He cannot do things he once did to his body and get away with it. I think it finally caught up with him.”
Dolce noted that he has been concerned about Hendricks’ health for some time.
“Anytime an athlete cuts weight it’s a serious situation,” Dolce said. “No appreciates that like we do here at the Dolce Diet™. This is serious business, not just anyone can construct a weight cut in a healthy and safe manner. This is a precise science.”
“It was a comedy of errors,” Dolce said of Hendricks’ weight issues leading up to the fight. “Much of the blame rests on Johny’s shoulders.”
While they no longer work together, Hendricks and Dolce enjoyed a working relationship that included Hendricks’ championship reign. However, it wasn’t without struggles, Dolce claimed. According to the nutritionist, Hendricks actually arrived at camp for his second bout against Robbie Lawler at a staggering 219 lbs.
Still, Dolce described a move to 185 for Hendricks “dangerous,” because of concerns of brain trauma taking concussive blows from larger athletes.
Full video is below — Dolce’s segment begins at the 2:40 mark: