What the hell is going on with BJ Penn?
The Hawaiian fan favorite went from former two division UFC champion to owner of the biggest losing streak in the history of the UFC (at 7 in a row). His life outside seems like a mess too. The mother of his children accused him of physical and sexual abuse. Police are investigating a claim that he threatened to murder his neighbor with a machete over some sort of gate dispute. And now he’s gotten himself into his second violent bar fight of the year.
That’s right, Penn has been in not one but two separate parking lot brawls in 2019. The first was with a bouncer outside a strip club back in June. The latest incident - which includes footage of Penn getting KO’d and Penn giving back ground and pound - happened at the end of August outside of a bar. If you thought they were the same incident, we don’t blame you. Even Penn’s heated rival and potential final UFC opponent Nik Lentz initially thought last Tuesday’s news was just more people sharing the strip club incident.
“I was like, ‘Why are people sending me old videos?’” Lentz said in an interview with MMA Junkie. “This is so old. And then I looked, and I was like, ‘Oh my God.’”
Few had positive feelings about Penn getting another UFC fight to begin with. Even UFC president Dana White agreed to it only after BJ hounded him endlessly for one final shot. Even with the UFC Code of Conduct manual largely forgotten since Endeavor bought the UFC, surely high profile street fights splashed all over TMZ would result in Penn getting pulled. Right?
Not so, says Lentz. According to him, the UFC confirmed the fight was still a go after the strip club incident. So if they ignored that street fight, why would they take action on this one?
Interesting tidbit which went largely unnoticed: Nik Lentz told our @MMAjunkieSteven the UFC confirmed a booking between him and BJ Penn for #UFCBoston on Oct. 18, prior to the bar incident. https://t.co/E4lyVIOz7S— Nolan King (@mma_kings) September 1, 2019
“There’s all this outrage, but he just did this [before],” Lentz said. “So we just went through this, and I still had the fight then.”
Now, I can’t tell you 100 percent that’s what’s going to happen,” he finished. “But as far as I’m concerned, that’s where we’re headed.”
Penn vs. Lentz still doesn’t have a date (or a signed contract), but we’ll keep you in the know on what happens to the match for better or worse. Ditto any further Penn scandals.