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UFC releases B.J. Penn

BJ Penn
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Former two-division UFC champion B.J. Penn has received his release from the promotion.

UFC president Dana White told Yahoo! Sports on Thursday that Penn will no longer be fighting in the organization that he made his pro debut with back in 2001.

Recently, White had all but declared that the 40-year-old’s time with the organization was over following an incident in Hawaii that saw Penn involved in a physical altercation in and around a club. Footage of the incident made its way around social media and after seeing it, White described the scene as “sad” and added that Penn “won’t fight again. That’s it. It’s a wrap.”

At the time, Penn was reportedly in talks to fight Nik Lentz at a future UFC event.

Penn addressed the altercation in an interview with TSN, explaining that he was trying to avoid trouble and defuse the situation before it escalated into the incident that was made public by TMZ.

In his prime, Penn (16-14-2) was one of the UFC’s most popular and successful fighters, capturing world titles at 155 and 170 pounds. He holds wins over fellow UFC Hall of Fame members Matt Hughes and Matt Serra, as well as Diego Sanchez, Kenny Florian, Sean Sherk, Jens Pulver, and Takanori Gomi.

“The Prodigy” has failed to replicate that success in recent years. His last eight fights have seen him go 0-7-1 and he has not picked up a victory since winning a trilogy bout against Hughes at UFC 123 in November 2010.

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