B.J. Penn denies starting latest bar fight, brushes off domestic-abuse allegations

B.J. Penn claims that he wasn't the instigator in his latest bar fight. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)
B.J. Penn claims that he wasn't the instigator in his latest bar fight. (Photo by Buda Mendes/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images)

Ex-UFC champion B.J. Penn has been in two Hawaii bar fights this summer, and he’s now speaking out about the latest incident, denying that he was the instigator.

According to Penn, who gave a 27-minute interview to the TSN MMA Podcast, he was trying to calm an angry acquaintance outside a club called the Lava Shack. Penn said that the guy suddenly got angry, possibly over an old grudge, and would not be calmed down.

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“He wants to fight about it, and I’m like, ‘No, no, no, I don’t want to fight.' He even walks outside. I thought I would go and calm him down, and I would walk outside to give the guy a hug. I thought the guy would eventually be just, like, ‘Forget it, B.J, whatever.’ Give me a hug or whatever and walk away. And he hit me, hit me good, and knocked me down. When I got back up, he tried it again, and then I had to defend myself. And that’s what you see in the second video.”

The fight was caught on video at two separate times. In one video, Penn is being knocked down. In the other, he’s raining down punches on someone’s head.

According to MMA Junkie, there will be no investigation of the incident unless someone files a complaint. The police were called to the scene of the fight, but were unable to file any reports because no one came forward to corroborate.

Penn didn’t take direct responsibility for the Lava Shack fight or for a fight outside a strip club in June, but did admit he shouldn’t have raised his fists.

“I know how bad it looks. I’ve got to take responsibility for the position that I’m in. I’ve got to take responsibility for when I was getting punched to not let my adrenaline go and start saying other stuff, because I really didn’t want nothing to do with that. I feel real unfortunate for the people who believe in me and follow me, and I feel bad for them that I was in these situations.”

These recent fights are especially bad because Penn is currently embroiled in a custody battle for his two daughters with his former partner, Shealen Uaiwa. Uaiwa has accused Penn of emotionally, physically, and sexually abusing her over their 10-year relationship, but Penn claims those accusations are a ploy to get custody of their children. He told host Aaron Bronsteter that “[Uaiwa]’s doing what she thinks she can do to get the kids up to California. That’s her and her husband’s game plan, so let them do that.”

Penn admitted that the June strip-club fight affected the custody case. And it’s not clear the latest incident will affect his upcoming fight with Nik Lentz, which is being billed as Penn’s final fight. A date and a venue for the fight have yet to be announced.

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