These days, B.J. Penn is in the sports headlines because of a recent street altercation in Hawaii. One video via TMZ Sports showed “The Prodigy” beating up on a shirtless man, while another showed him being knocked out by a left hook by the same individual.
A representative of the Penn family already spoke out, aiming to clear up the former champion’s name. In a recent interview with TSN, B.J. himself shared his side of the story.
“I’m at a concert going to meet a friend that I’ve known since we were really young kids and I’m over there and an acquaintance of mine, he gets mad about something, you know something was said or it was an old past thing and then he wants to fight about it,” he explained.
“I was like, ‘no, no, I don’t want to fight, we’re friends, everything is cool,’” he continued. “He even walks outside and I’m thinking, this is silly I’m going to go get him, calm him down and get him to come back inside and 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 and I’m like no, calm down. I try to give him another hug and he hits me a couple more times and he hits me again.”
The 40-year-old Hawaiian fighter says the leaked videos only showed one side of the situation.
“Whoever put that video up cut it in half, I wish they had the whole thing that showed me trying to hug the guy,” he said. “Finally my adrenaline picked up because he was hitting me so much so I said go ahead and hit me again, really I thought the guy would eventually just say forget it BJ, whatever, walk away, but he hit me and he hit me good and knocked me down and then when I got back up he tried it again and I just had to defend myself and that’s what you see in the second video.”
Penn is dealing with a number of legal troubles, including a domestic abuse charge filed last April. In late June, he was captured on video allegedly beating up on a strip club bouncer.
He does admit that these incidents have been problematic in terms of dealing with his ongoing custody battle.
“I’m in the middle of a custody case right now and from that last one I already got a lot of flak from the custody evaluator, from their lawyer of course, from my lawyer,” he said.
“The last thing I want to do is get into any type of trouble, my custody case, me seeing my kids depends on all this stuff and it’s just really strange how things just happen and you never see this kind of stuff, but here I am in a custody case and this happened twice.”
As for his next fight, Penn also told TSN that he is looking at November as a possible date for his scheduled clash against Nik Lentz.