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UFC postpones BJ Penn's return amid allegations

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Esther Lin/MMA Fighting

BJ Penn may not be returning to the UFC Octagon as soon as previously expected.

The UFC issued an official statement:

UFC is aware of the recent allegations made against BJ Penn. The organization requires all athletes who compete in the UFC to act in an ethical and responsible manner, as detailed in the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. UFC will not tolerate violations of the policy. Every athlete is deserving of proper review and this situation, as with any serious allegation, will be investigated by an independent party and thoroughly reviewed by the UFC.  The UFC organization will also cooperate with any law enforcement investigation. In light of the serious allegations, UFC has postponed plans to book Penn for an upcoming bout until more details are determined.

UFC holds athletes who compete in the organization to the highest standard and will continue to take appropriate action, if and when warranted.  It is important to note that Penn is considered innocent until proven guilty and UFC is not prejudging this matter.

Penn, who recently teamed up with the lauded Jackson-Wink MMA fight team, was expected to return to the Octagon in early-to-mid 2016, plans which are currently on hold.

Penn retired from MMA following a three-fight losing streak from October 2011 to July 2014.

(Editor's note: MMA Fighting won't report the allegations until the police decide to press charges.)