BJ Penn Still Set To Fight At UFC 237 … For Now
Penn claims accusations of physical and sexual violence leveled at him by an ex are part of a ‘highly-contested child custody case.’
A fight between B.J. Penn and Clay Guida set for UFC 237 on May 11th is still on … for now at least.
A restraining order filed by Penn’s former partner and mother of his two daughters Shelean Uaiwa detailed a disturbing litany of verbal threats, physical violence, and sexual abuse. While that order was granted by the court in February, news of the situation didn’t break until a copy was received by MMA Junkie. Shortly after, Penn’s website BJPenn.com released a statement denying the claims.
“BJ is in a highly-contested child custody case involving his two young daughters,” it read. “The order of protection has made serious allegations against BJ. The allegations are so misleading, hurtful and false that any further comment by BJ or about BJ would cause more damage to the well-being of his children and potentially further inflame the pending custody proceedings. BJ and his family ask that you respect their privacy at this very difficult time.”
Roving ESPN reporter Aaron Bronsteter asked UFC president Dana White about the situation at UFC 236 and was told Penn is still fighting at UFC 237, but the promotion plans to look into the situation further.
Last night, Dana White told me that “as far as he knows” BJ Penn is still competing at UFC 237, but he says that he needs to find out more information about Penn’s situation and that the UFC plans to look into it further.
— Aaron Bronsteter (@aaronbronsteter) April 14, 2019
In the past, the UFC was pretty proactive regarding any case with even a whiff of domestic or sexual abuse involved, removing fighters from cards and sending private investigators to look into allegations. Since being bought out by Endeavor, though, that has no longer been the case.
Most recently, the promotion signed up disgraced former NFL player Greg Hardy, who is best known by non-football fans for a violent incident with a girlfriend back in 2014. Abdul Razak Alhassan stands accused of raping two women in March of 2018 and competed for the UFC in September just a few weeks before being indicted. His UFC profile lists his status with the company as ‘Active.’
At this point, Penn has not been arrested or charged with a crime regarding the situation.