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Chad Mendes’ pool jump was cool, but BJ Penn’s was better. Here’s why

Chad Mendes’ pool jump was cool, but BJ Penn’s was better. Here’s why

We’re seeing an influx of pool jump videos these days. With incredible athletes showing off their… Pool jumping skills via social media. Jumps from pools used to be a feat reserved for a couple of super-athletic buddies to replay only in their minds with pats on the back of the hero while they sipped beer, or coconut water. Now, we all get to be imprezzed thanks to the magic of cameras in phones. 

Have you ever thought about the fact that it might be a camera with a phone in it? Yeah.

So let’s be clear here: pool jumps are not created equal. Chad Mendes proves this. In this 12,000 word essay, I will delve into the intricacies and minutiae of the jump from a California pool he posted on YouTube yesterday, then explain why it’s not as good as BJ Penn’s jump which took place nearly five years ago, when he was a God.

A special thanks to the US National Records for supplying two interns in an effort to lighten my heavy research load. Thank you, Ray and Tommie.

First, the video. Chad Mendes first.

Impressive? Of course. Uncontrollably baller? Hardly. Let’s watch BJ do his thing on an old-school camera phone (2009 was wild).

Now, what sets these two acts apart? Well, let’s bust out the bulletpoints.

  • Aspect ratio. It’s 2014, we’ve all had these phones for a while. You’re shooting something that is essentially a Torque commercial and you can’t hold the phone sideways? Shame on all of the Alpha Males.
  • It’s a T-shirt commercial at its essence, with a feat of strength.
  • The backflip was unnecessary and silly. Sure, it’s athletic, but this is where the difference between BJ and Chad, between legend and contender truly stand out.
  • What does BJ do after he jumps out of the pool (slightly more submerged than Chad)? He walks over to the jacuzzi and hangs out with his dudes. No T-shirts are being pimped, just a pimp pimping his pimpiness minus any literal pimping going on. 
  • BJ slowly walking over to the jacuzzi tells us he was likely goaded into jumping from the pool by his buddies after a long workout or long eating session. We can all envision BJ turning down his pressing friends a few times, as he relaxed, arms outstretched in the comforting waters of the jacuzzi. Finally, BJ would oblige them, jump from the pool, then go back to relaxing. 
  • On the flip side, this was a highly-organized event, despite the aspect ratio screw up. 
  • Still, it’s impressive, I don’t want to take anything away from Chad, but it’s kind of the difference between marrying a Playboy model and being Hugh Hefner. By walking into that jacuzzi nonchalant as ****, BJ Penn put on his silk, poll jumping smoking jacket.
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