Former UFC champion B.J. Penn announced the birth of his daughter Mahina Amado Penn on June 24, but there’s a catch. The social media post was made eight months after she was born, and she doesn’t legally carry his surname. Camila Amado, Mahina’s mother, is filing a lawsuit asking for paternity recognition and alimony.
“The Prodigy” met Amado in September 2018, Amado told MMA Fighting, when he visited Rio de Janeiro to train at Nova Uniao, in preparation for a UFC bout with Ryan Hall. The Brazilian says she flew to Hawaii to spend some time with the fighter in January 2019, and found out she was pregnant when returning to Brazil.
Mahina Amado was born later that year, and her mother says she spent a full year attempting to have Penn legally recognize paternity. Six days after Mahina celebrated her first birthday, however, Amado decided to file a lawsuit in Rio de Janeiro. Combate first reported the news.
A DNA test was done in January 2020, using a sample from Mahina Amado and one of Penn’s daughters, and determined that “the probability of half-siblingship is 99.99999%.” Penn mentioned her for the first time on social media five months later.
“The last straw was having my daughter turn one year old, “ Amado said. “She only has my name on her birth certificate. He was always in touch with me, but always promises he would do what is right for her.”
According to Amado, it could take “a year or two” for the Brazilian justice to officially notify Penn of the lawsuit in Hawaii. He could simply sign a paper recognizing paternity and setting the alimony, Amado said.
“It’s a very upsetting situation for me, who take care of my daughter by myself,” Amado said. “My daughter is growing up and soon she will wanna know who her father is, and he’s a public figure.
“He’s used my daughter’s image, my image on social media. He put her name there, Mahina Amado Penn, which would be [her full name with] his surname, but he’s none of that.”
The Combate story includes a quote from Penn in which he “already introduced Mahina as his daughter on social media” and is “interested in legally recognizing paternity,” adding he would talk to his lawyers to find out the next steps.
MMA Fighting’s messages to Penn were not returned.
Penn was released from the UFC in September 2019 after being caught on tape in a bar fight in Hawaii. A former lightweight and welterweight titleholder in the octagon, “The Prodigy” was let go from the company after going winless in his last eight appearances between 2011 and 2019.