White Banishes BJ Over Bar Brawls
After the most recent incident of UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn getting into a street fight with someone, UFC President Dana White no longer feels comfortable with letting Penn fight inside the Octagon.
White, who is in Abu Dhabi for this weekend’s UFC 242 event, said he will no longer do business with Penn, even though the former lightweight champion told TSN that he’s in talks for a November fight with Nik Lentz.
“He won’t fight again,” White told ESPN. “That’s it. It’s a wrap.”
The incident last week outside of a bar in his native Hawaii was the second is as many months for Penn, who is also in a custody dispute with his ex-partner, who has claimed Penn verbally, sexually, and physically assaulted her and exposed their children to his drug use.
Penn’s legal and personal troubles are part of the reason why White no-longer wants Penn fighting. another issue is Penn losing seven straight fights and going 1-9-1 since the start of the decade.
“It’s not even that this was the last straw,” White said. “I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway, but we having the relationship that he and I have and he’s getting me on the phone, begging me for another fight, begging me for another opportunity, it’s hard for me to turn him down, but after what I saw on that video, B.J. needs to focus on his personal life and get himself together before he thinks about fighting again.
“Listen, I don’t wanna sit here on TV and pick B.J. apart on his life or whatever. I think that we all know what B.J. Penn needs to do and hopefully B.J. Penn knows what B.J. Penn needs to do. Not gonna sit here like I’m his father or I’m some guy who’s above him and pointing the finger at B.J. and B.J. needs to do this and that. What I saw in that video was sad. I love the kid and I hope he gets his life together.”
As mentioned, Penn defended himself on TSN this week, claiming that he wasn’t the instigator in this incident.
“I’m at a concert going to meet a friend of mine that I knew since we were real young kids and I’m over there, and then an acquaintance of mine he gets mad about something,” Penn said. “You know, something was said or what or if it was an old past thing and then he wants to fight about it. I’m like, ‘Naw naw,’ we’ve got a lot of witnesses, everybody can corroborate my story. I’m like, ‘No, no, no, I don’t want to fight. We’re friends, everything’s cool,’ this and that. He even walks outside and I’m thinking, ‘Aw, this is silly.’ I’m going to go get him, calm him down, come back inside, we’ll come enjoy the concert, we’ve got some other friends there. I walk outside to go give the guy a hug and then he hits me twice. I’m like, ‘No, no, calm down.’ I try to give him another hug and he hits me a couple more times and then he hits me again—I wish they didn’t cut the video in half so whoever put that video up cut it in half, I wish they had the whole thing that showed me trying to hug the guy—finally, my adrenaline kicked up because he was hitting me so much, I’m like, ‘Go ahead, hit me again.’
“But really, I thought the guy would eventually just be like, ‘You know what? Forget it, B.J.,’ give me a hug or whatever, walk away. He hit me and he hit me good. Knocked me down. And then when I got back up he tried it again and then I just had to defend myself. So that’s what you see in the second video.”
Initial Report: MMA Fighting