BJ Penn Officially Released from UFC Contract

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistSeptember 27, 2019

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL - MAY 11:  BJ Penn prepares to fight Clay Guida in their  lightweight bout during the UFC 237 event at Jeunesse Arena on May 11, 2019 in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Getty Images

BJ Penn's UFC career is likely over after the former two-division champion was released from his contract.

Per Yahoo Sports' Kevin Iole, UFC President Dana White announced the move Thursday.

The release comes after TMZ Sports obtained video showing the UFC Hall of Famer involved in a street fight last month.

"Upon meeting friends for a concert at the Lava Shack, words were exchanged between BJ and the acquaintance," a representative for Penn told TMZ. "From witness accounts, BJ tried multiple times to defuse the situation, but was hit repeatedly and knocked to the ground, as seen on the video."

Prior to that, Shealen Uaiwa, Penn's estranged girlfriend, was granted a temporary restraining order against him in October 2018 (extended in February) when she accused Penn of verbal and sexual abuse.

White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto earlier this month the TMZ video of Penn being knocked down with a punch informed his decision to part ways with the 40-year-old:

"Listen, I don't wanna sit here on TV and pick BJ Penn apart and his life or whatever. I think that we all know what BJ Penn needs to do and hopefully BJ Penn knows what BJ 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 BJ and BJ 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."

Even before the video was released, White has spoken about his reluctance to continue giving Penn fights because of the apparent decline in his skill set. The Prodigy is winless in his last eight fights, a streak that dates back to February 2011.

Penn is one of seven fighters in UFC history to hold titles in two different weight classes. He holds the UFC record as the longest-reigning lightweight champion at 812 days from Jan. 19, 2008, through April 10, 2010.

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