After a Ultimate Fighting Championship career spanning 18 years, multiple titles and a complicated legacy, B.J. Penn has been released by the UFC.
On Thursday night, Yahoo Sports reported that Penn (16-14-2) has been released from his UFC contract, according to UFC President Dana White. This would spell the end of a wild saga that recently came to a head when video footage came out showing Penn's alleged involvement in a bar fight in Hawaii. This caused White to reconsider allowing Penn to compete, stating in an interview earlier this month, "He won't fight again…that's it."
Although not the first time that White had said Penn was done, this case is significantly different as the Hawaiian was released from his contract altogether. Previously, White claimed in June that the UFC would not offer Penn another fight. This decision did not last for long, as one month later, Penn was being considered for a matchup against Nik Lentz.
A member of the Modern Wing in the UFC Hall of Fame since 2015, Penn is regarded as one of the best lightweights in MMA history. His status a legendary fighter is enhanced by his willingness to take fights at virtually any weight class, ranging from his featherweight bouts against Frankie Edgar and Yair Rodriguez up to a heavyweight match against Lyoto Machida.
A champion at both the welterweight and lightweight divisions, Penn still maintains the record for the most UFC title defenses at 155 pounds -- a record later tied by Edgar and Benson Henderson. Unfortunately for "The Prodigy," he has not won a bout since his first-round knockout of Matt Hughes at UFC 123 in 2010. After his win over Hughes, Penn fought to a draw against Jon Fitch, and has since lost a record seven straight UFC fights.