It’s official: B.J. Penn is no longer a UFC fighter.
The 40-year-old former lightweight and welterweight champion was slated to face Nik Lentz later this year in an effort to snap his seven-fight losing streak, but the matchup fell apart shortly after footage was released of him getting into another street fight in Hawaii. He was clearly shown on video getting knocked out by a punch, and in another video Penn landed several punches from that same man’s back.
When Dana White was asked earlier this month about Penn’s latest incident, he indicated that Penn’s days in the UFC were numbered.
“He won’t fight again,” White said. “That’s it.”
“It’s not even that this [bar fight] was the last straw,” White continued. “I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway. But when you have the relationship that he and I have, he’s getting me on the phone, begging me for another fight, begging me for another opportunity, it’s hard for me to, you know, turn him down. But after what I saw on that video, BJ needs to, you know, focus on his personal life.”
Well now White has confirmed to Yahoo Sports’ Kevin Iole that Penn has been released from his UFC contract, so B.J. is now a free agent.
Penn (16-14-2) is coming off a unanimous decision defeat to Clay Guida, keeping him out of the win column for an eighth consecutive time. His KO of Matt Hughes in 2010 stands as his last victory.
In addition to his series of losses inside the cage, he has dealt with numerous legal problems, including accusations of domestic and sexual abuse made by the mother of his children, as well as allegedly threatening a farmer with a machete.
It is not known if Penn will fight again, but if he does, it’ll be the first time since 2005 that it’ll take place outside of the UFC banner. One can only wonder what would’ve happened had Penn not been caught on camera in another physical confrontation.