ABU DHABI, United Arab Emirates — It appears that BJ Penn‘s UFC tenure has finally come to an end.
UFC president Dana White told ESPN on Thursday he will not offer the 40-year-old legend another bout in the Octagon, on the heels of two videos that were released of Penn fighting on the streets in Hawai’i.
The UFC was working on booking Penn (16-14-2) a fight against Nik Lentz before the end of the year, but those plans are now off, according to White.
“He won’t fight again, that’s it,” White told ESPN. “That’s a wrap. It’s not even that this was the last straw. I didn’t love him continuing to fight anyway, but with the relationship that he and I have — he gets me on the phone, begging me for another fight. It’s hard to turn him down.
“After what I saw in that video, BJ needs to, you know, he needs to focus on his personal life before he thinks about fighting.”
White said he has not reached out to Penn personally, but said the promotion has informed Penn of its decision to not book him another fight.
Last week, two videos surfaced on TMZ showing Penn’s involvement in a street fight in Hawai’i. In one video, an unidentified man knocks Penn to the floor with a punch. Another video shows Penn, apparently after he was knocked down, wrestling the man to the floor and punching him in the side of the head.
Penn and his representatives have since said he was trying to diffuse the situation and ultimately acted in self-defense. He was not pressed with any charges.
Penn, of Hilo, Hawai’i, retired in 2014, but returned to competition in 2017. He has lost seven bouts in a row, dating back to 2011.
Known as perhaps the greatest lightweight martial artist of all time, Penn is a former two-weight champion in the UFC. The UFC has received some criticism for allowing him to compete in recent years, but White said he begged to compete, and a lot of thought went into matchmaking him appropriately. His willingness to do so, however, has come to an end.
“I don’t want to sit here and pick BJ Penn apart,” White said. “I think we all know what BJ Penn needs to do and hopefully BJ Penn knows what BJ Penn needs to do. What I saw in that video was sad and I love the kid. I hope he gets his life together. If BJ Penn needs me, all he has to do is pick up the phone and ask.”