Looks like BJ Penn has found quite the strength & conditioning coach to help him to prepare for his upcoming lightweight title defense against Kenny Florian at UFC 101. From just the video, you may think this is a joke. After all, who would expect BJ to be training out of someone’s garage in California when there’s plenty of state-of-the-art facilities to choose from for a high profile fighter like Penn? Well, turns out this is real, and the trainer, Marv Marinovich, has serious credentials, but he doesn’t come without a controversial past. Mike Chiappetta (now with MMA Fanhouse) explains.
Marinovich is a trainer who specializes in speed, power and functional training. He is also well known as the controversial father of ex-USC and Oakland Raiders quarterback Todd Marinovich, a one-time prodigy who saw his NFL dreams fall prey to substance-abuse issues.
In a 1988 Sports Illustrated story, Marinovich was described as raising “America’s first test-tube athlete” for the unique upbringing of his son, Todd, who it was claimed in the article started his athletic conditioning at one month old. Todd Marinovich became a first-round NFL draft pick but flamed out due to personal issues. Marv Marinovich has gone on to become a respected trainer, working with among others Pittsburgh Steelers’ All-Pro defensive back Troy Polamalu.
Perhaps the question of whether BJ will be in shape to fight Florian has just been answered.