BJ Penn has likely lawyered up after recent allegations that have created a lot of controversy surrounding the legendary fighter. The claims stem from a former editor from Penn's website alleging that the UFC Hall of Famer assaulted his girlfriend in Hawaii, and that there are plans to pursue legal action against him in court.
The UFC released the following statement on Thursday:
"UFC is aware of the recent allegations made against BJ Penn. The organization requires all athletes who compete in the UFC to act in an ethical and responsible manner, as detailed in the UFC Fighter Conduct Policy. UFC will not tolerate violations of the policy. Every athlete is deserving of proper review and this situation, as with any serious allegation, will be investigated by an independent party and thoroughly reviewed by the UFC. The UFC organization will also cooperate with any law enforcement investigation. In light of the serious allegations, UFC has postponed plans to book Penn for an upcoming bout until more details are determined.
UFC holds athletes who compete in the organization to the highest standard and will continue to take appropriate action, if and when warranted. It is important to note that Penn is considered innocent until proven guilty and UFC is not prejudging this matter."
To which, Penn's camp has replied:
The allegations that Pedro and his girlfriend are making against BJ Penn simply aren’t true. Penn trusted Pedro to run his website for almost a decade and considered him family. He was fired last year for unethical behavior and was provided a severence that ended on February 16, 2016. One day later allegations appeared in a one sided Twitter rant which happen to be many months after the alleged date in question. (August of 2015). There are many holes in Pedro’s story. In the almost 15 years that Penn has been a champion fighter there has not ever been any incident or allegation in regards to his conduct with women. He is family man and father of two young daughters with a known long term girlfriend. It is unfortunate that someone that BJ considered family is trying to extort him.
BJ Penn is a legendary fighter, but he's not untouchable by the law
Who's side are you on? And who can we believe? The UFC has not only dealt with situations like this before, but has had a slightly tumultuous past with dealing with allegations of this nature, so I'm sure they'll be very careful.
As for Penn, I guess we'll see how this all plays out in court but I don't think this is looking very good for the legendary fighter. Really, it's an overall messy situation and I hope justice is served to whoever is (or isn't) guilty.
What do you think?
Is BJ Penn innocent?
(Via: Fox Sports)