Former two weight world champion BJ Penn has been cut from the UFC.
The 40-year-old has struggled both in the cage and seemingly outside the cage in recent months and years. The release comes on the back of Dana White saying Penn was finished after he was involved in a street brawl.
Penn first broke on to the scene in 2001 when he won his UFC debut against Joey Gilbert. Penn fought for the lightweight title, losing a majority decision to champion Jens Pulver. He would win the welterweight title by beating Matt Hughes in 2004. After a spell away from the UFC he would take on Lyoto Machida as high a weight as light heavyweight.
A return to the UFC was on the cards and he started with defeats against George’s St-Pierre and Matt Hughes. A move down to his natural weight class of lightweight would see him pick up the vacant title against Joe Stevenson in 2008, after he had gained revenge on Jens Pulver as Ultimate Fighter captain.
Another tilt at the welterweight strap resulted in another defeat by George’s St-Pierre and then he lost his lightweight title to Frankie Edgar.
It’s a sad ending to a career of someone who had been considered an icon of the sport.
The Hawaiian has not won since 2010 and was 0-7-1 in the UFC in his last eight fights. The surprising factor is that it took the UFC so long to finally bring an end to his UFC tenure. They have cut numerous fighters with better recent records than Penn.
Hopefully Penn won’t be offered deals with any of the other promotions as it seems clear his best days are behind him.
Photo credit BJ Penn Facbook page