Penn officially released by UFC after street fights

The UFC has officially parted ways with Hall of Fame fighter BJ Penn.

Penn was released by the promotion this week, UFC president Dana White said, in the wake of several videos surfacing of Penn fighting on the streets of Hawaii. White told ESPN's Brett Okamoto earlier this month, before UFC 243, that he would no longer be offering Penn fights.

"He won't fight again, that's it," White told ESPN. "That's a wrap. It's not even that this was the last straw. I didn't love him continuing to fight anyway, but with the relationship that he and I have -- he gets me on the phone, begging me for another fight. It's hard to turn him down.

"After what I saw in that video, BJ needs to, you know, he needs to focus on his personal life before he thinks about fighting."

Penn, 40, was shown in two August videos getting into a fight with another man in Penn's native Hawaii. In one of the videos, the man knocked Penn to the floor with a punch. In another, Penn could be seen wrestling the man to the ground, getting on top of him and punching him in the head.

Penn and his team have since released statements saying that he was trying to diffuse the situation and was acting in self-defense.

The videos were published by TMZ just four months after a USA Today report that Penn's longtime girlfriend filed for a temporary restraining order and order of protection against him. In the documents, Shealen Uaiwa accused Penn of physical, verbal and sexual abuse over the course of their 10-year relationship.

Penn, perhaps the best lightweight mixed martial arts fighter of all time, retired in 2014 and was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame in 2015. Penn was only the second man to hold UFC titles in two different weight classes when he won the lightweight belt in 2008.

He returned to the UFC in 2017. Penn (16-14-2) has since struggled inside the Octagon. He is 0-4 in his comeback and has not won a fight since 2010. Penn has seven straight losses, a UFC record.