Dana White Closes Door On BJ Penn Having Final Fight
Recently, UFC President Dana White said he was willing to let BJ Penn have one more fight. However, following recent events, that decision has changed.
The tale of BJ Penn is a cautionary one. Former UFC Champion, and considered by some to be one of the greatest fighters of all time, Penn was thought upon fondly. However, he has gone on to set the record for longest losing streak in UFC history. This has changed the perception of his legacy within the cage.
Furthermore, disturbing reports began to arise, regarding the mental health of Penn. Additionally, he was involved in a street altercation, involving a bouncer. Nevertheless, Dana White said he was going to allow BJ Penn to have one more fight, out of some sort of respect.
However, when a second incident occurred shortly afterwards, White changed his mind. In this most recent street fight, Penn gets rocked pretty good, being dropped by his opponent. This further asserted questions about Penn’s ability to healthily fight in the UFC.
Dana White has addressed these concerns.
In a recent interview with ESPN, White explained that he will not be allowing BJ Penn to fight again in the UFC.
“He won’t fight again. That’s it. That’s a wrap. It’s not even that this was the last straw. I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway. But when you have the relationship that he and I have, and he’s getting me on the phone begging me for another fight, begging me for another opportunity, it’s hard for me to turn him down. But after what I saw on that video, B.J. needs to focus on his personal life and get himself together before he thinks about fighting again.”
White went on to explain that Penn has every right to do what he wishes. However, Dana says he will no longer be a part of it.
“I don’t want to sit here on TV and pick B.J. Penn apart and his life. 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 going to 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 on that video was sad. I love the kid, and I hope he gets his life together. Obviously, the guy calls me and I’m still putting him in fights. If B.J. needed me, all he’s got to do to is pick up the phone and ask. If he does, I’m sure he’ll call, If he doesn’t, I hope he gets his life together.”
While the end of BJ Penn’s career has been rather ugly, it is good to see Dana White making this decision. It was something that the MMA community has been clamoring for. Hopefully, Penn can get his life in a healthy spot.