Stop us if you've heard this one before -- Ultimate Fighting Championship President Dana White says that B.J. Penn will not get another fight in the Octagon.
On Thursday, White in an interview with ESPN stated that this was the end of Penn's (16-14-2) UFC journey. Although Penn attempted to explain his side of the most recent altercation, it was not enough to keep him in the good graces of the organization. It should be noted that this is not the first time that White had said Penn was done, as he famously stated in June that the UFC would not offer Penn another fight, only to go back on that decision a month later. For now, the word is that Penn is well and truly done.
"He won't fight again…that's it," said White of Penn's fighting future. "That's a wrap. It's not even that this was the 'last straw,' it's…I didn't love him continuing to fight anyway, but when you have the relationship that he and I have -- he's getting me on the phone, you know, begging me for another fight, begging me for another opportunity. It's hard for me to, you know, to turn him down, but after what I saw on that video [of Penn allegedly fighting outside of a Hawaiian bar], B.J. needs to, you know, he needs to focus on his personal life and get himself together before he thinks about fighting again."
When asked if White had informed the UFC Hall-of-Famer of the decision, Dana replied that he had not personally done so, but rather that the company as a whole has relayed this to Penn.
Inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2015 as a member of the Modern Wing due to making his promotional debut after November 2000, Penn is regarded as one of the best lightweights in MMA history. His legacy is bolstered by a willingness to take fights at practically any weight class, ranging from competing against the likes of Frankie Edgar and Yair Rodriguez at featherweight all the way up to his match against Lyoto Machida at heavyweight.
A former welterweight and lightweight king, Penn still holds the record for the most title defenses at 155 pounds in the UFC -- a record since tied by Edgar and Benson Henderson. Unfortunately for "The Prodigy," he has not won a bout since his first-round demolition of Matt Hughes at UFC 123 in 2010, and not for lack of trying. After that win over Hughes, Penn went on to draw with Jon Fitch, and has since lost seven straight fights -- also a UFC record.
Penn was linked to a bout against Nik Lentz as the two share a combative history, but the date or location were never finalized, and it appears that scrap will no longer take place. In addition to his concerns of alleged bar fights, Penn also contended with accusations of sexual abuse and drug addiction by his children's mother. He was also reportedly accused of threatening a neighbor with a machete in April, although he was never charged.
"First of all, I think -- listen, I don't want to sit here on TV and pick B.J. Penn apart, and his life and whatever," White concluded frankly. "I think that we all know what B.J. Penn needs to do, and hopefully B.J. Penn knows what B.J. Penn needs to do. I'm not gonna sit here like I'm his father, or I'm some guy who's 'above him' and pointing the finger at B.J., and B.J. needs to do this and that. What I saw in that video was sad, and you know, I love the kid, and I hope he gets…I hope he gets his life together. And obviously, the guy calls me and I'm still putting him in fights. If B.J. Penn needed me, all he's gotta do is pick up the phone and ask. If he does, I'm sure he'll call, and if he doesn't, I hope he gets his life together."