UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn has finally opened up about a pair of scraps he had this summer, outside the octagon.
B.J. Penn has been in the news over the past couple of weeks, for all the wrong reasons. A pair of incidents that had him in altercations at bars in his native Hawaii, including one which appeared to show him knocked out, or at least down, raised questions about his return to the octagon later this year against Nik Lentz.
If everyone’s being honest with themselves, there was a huge question about whether Penn should be fighting anymore anyway, even without these recent incidents. However, a UFC star slugging it out in parking lots while having a big fight coming up is a huge red flag.
Penn (16–14–2), who has lost seven straight bouts in the UFC (the only reason it’s not eight is a UFC 127 draw with Jon Fitch), has stayed mum on the subject, as has his website, BJPenn.com.
However, on Wednesday, the former lightweight and welterweight champ opened up to Canada’s Aaron Bronstetter, over at TSN.
As Penn tells it, the more recent incident involved an acquaintance who had become upset, although Penn did not give a reason why, suggesting it may have been something that was said, or “an old past thing.”
“I was like, ‘no, no, I don’t want to fight, we’re friends, everything is cool,’” Penn told TSN. “He even walks outside and I’m thinking, this is silly I’m going to go get him, calm him down and get him to come back inside and enjoy the concert, we’ve got some other friends there. I walk outside to go give the guy a hug and then he hits me twice and I’m like no, calm down. I try to give him another hug and he hits me a couple more times and he hits me again.”
Penn then claimed that whoever uploaded the video did so in a way that only showed the worst of it.
“Whoever put that video up cut it in half, I wish they had the whole thing that showed me trying to hug the guy. Finally my adrenaline picked up because he was hitting me so much so I said go ahead and hit me again, really I thought the guy would eventually just say forget it BJ, whatever, walk away, but he hit me and he hit me good and knocked me down and then when I got back up he tried it again and I just had to defend myself and that’s what you see in the second video.”
Penn also addressed the earlier strip club incident, originally from June. “There was another video on TMZ of me holding somebody on the ground,” Penn said. “I’m in the middle of a custody case right now and from that last one I already got a lot of flak from the custody evaluator, from their lawyer of course, from my lawyer.”
“The last thing I want to do is get into any type of trouble, my custody case, me seeing my kids depends on all this stuff and it’s just really strange how things just happen and you never see this kind of stuff, but here I am in a custody case and this happened twice.”
Penn’s full interview with TSN can be found over at the TSN MMA Show – Episode 104. Penn vs. Lentz, meanwhile, does not yet have a firm date.