It seems as though Dana White has finally pulled the plug on BJ Penn's legendary career inside the UFC after a number of high profile public-relations nightmares and run-ins with the law - just last week video was leaked of Penn engaging in a bar fight with a member of the public, causing many to question how the UFC could continue to offer the Hawaiian fights.
Whilst carrying out media obligations for this weekend's UFC 242 event Dana White made the following comments on the future of BJ Penn and the UFC...
"He [BJ Penn] won't fight again. That's it...It's not even that this is the last straw, I didn't love the idea him continuing to fight anyway, but when you have the relationship that me and him have and he's getting me on the phone begging me for another fight, another opportunity, it's hard for me to turn him down. But after what I saw on that video, BJ needs to focus on his personal life."
Original plans for BJ Penn's return
While BJ Penn will always be recognised as a true pioneer and a legend of the mixed martial arts, his late-career has been marred with erratic behaviour outside of the cage and an appalling record inside the cage - Penn has not won in his last 8 professional fights.
Dana White had initially planned to give BJ Penn one last outing inside the octagon against Nik Lentz this October, despite the majority of MMA fans pleading with the UFC President to call time on Penn's time with the UFC. It would now appear that White feels it would be inappropriate and, quite frankly, dangerous to allow BJ Penn to fight an elite fighter under the UFC banner.
What's next for BJ Penn?
Unfortunately, the history of combat sports is littered with stories of fighters who just can't let go and continue to fight way past their prime. The MMA world will be hoping that BJ Penn is able to come to terms with the fact that his fighting days are over and sort out the issues currently affecting his personal life.Published 05 Sep 2019, 18:50 IST