Jay Dee “B.J.” Penn (born December 12, 1978 in Hilo, Hawaii) is an American professional mixed martial arts fighter and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. He is the first American-born winner of the World Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu Championship (Mundial) in the black belt category (2000), a former UFC Welterweight Champion, and is a coach on the The Ultimate Fighter 5 reality show. His nickname “B.J.” is short for “Baby Jay”, as he is the youngest of his male siblings, all of whom are named “Jay Dee Penn”.
Martial arts background
At the age of seventeen, Penn began training Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu after being introduced to it by his neighbor Tom Callos, and in 1997 he started training under Ralph Gracie. After being awarded his black belt in 2000 by Andre Pederneiras of Nova Uniao, he became the first non-Brazilian to win a gold medal in the black belt division of the Mundial World Championships held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.2
Mixed martial arts career
His accomplishments caught the attention of the Ultimate Fighting Championship, where he began his mixed martial arts career less than a year later in 2001. He demonstrated strong striking skills, knocking out lightweights Din Thomas and Caol Uno before suffering a decision loss in a title fight against UFC lightweight champion Jens Pulver.
In 2003, after Pulver left the UFC and relinquished his title, a tournament to crown a new champion flopped when Penn fought Uno to a draw in the finals at UFC 41, a failure which caused the UFC to later suspend its lightweight division. Penn bounced back later in the year with an impressive victory over Takanori Gomi, Japan’s current number-one ranked lightweight fighter at Rumble on the Rock, an MMA event promoted by his brother.
The crowning achievement of Penn’s career came in 2004 at UFC 46. Penn jumped up in weight classes to challenge the five-time defending welterweight champion Matt Hughes to fill a title contention slot in a division where Hughes had already defeated all the available opposition. Heavily favored to win, Hughes lost the fight four minutes into the first round by rear naked choke.
In K-1 and Hero’s
Shortly after defeating Matt Hughes, the new champion signed to fight in the K-1 organization. The UFC promptly stripped him of the welterweight title belt, claiming Penn breached his contract and that the signing constituted him refusing to defend his title. Penn filed a suit against the UFC and publicized his side of the conflict, claiming his UFC contract had already expired. Penn filed a motion to stop the UFC from awarding a new welterweight title, but that motion was denied.34
In his first K-1 fight, Penn fought again at welterweight (170 lb) and defeated Duane Ludwig at the 2004 K-1 MMa Romanex show in under five minutes by arm triangle choke. Following that fight, Penn moved up in weight class to face the undefeated Rodrigo Gracie at middleweight (185 pounds). Penn won by decision, extending his winning streak to four fights and his undefeated streak to seven.
In 2005, at the K-1 Hero’s 1 event in Japan, Penn controversially faced light heavyweight Ryoto Machida, losing by decision. Later that year at K-1 World Grand Prix Hawaii, Penn returned to middleweight to face Renzo Gracie and won by unanimous decision
Return to the UFC
In early 2006 at UFC 56, UFC president Dana White announced that Penn and the UFC have agreed to a settlement and Penn was to return as a top welterweight contender. Penn redebuted on March 4 at UFC 58 and lost against Georges St. Pierre in a close split decision, in a fight that determined the welterweight number one contendership.
In July, Penn briefly spoke with KUAM about rededicating himself to earning the lightweight championship, along with the welterweight and middleweight titles.
After St. Pierre, who became the UFC’s top contender for the welterweight title since his win over Penn, injured himself during training, the UFC announced that Penn would replace St. Pierre in an upcoming title fight, setting up a highly anticipated rematch with Hughes for UFC 63 on September 23, 2006. 5 In the bout, Penn controlled the first two rounds, but he sustained a rib injury during the scramble to take Hughes’ back in round two severely limiting his breathing capacity. He was visibly different in the third round not being able to breathe properly. Hughes was able to take Penn to the mat in a side control position and rain punches on Penn’s head until referee John McCarthy stopped the fight at 3:53 of the third round, making this the first time that Penn had been stopped in a fight. In an interview found on Penn’s personal website, Penn stated that by round three he could hardly breathe and had no “mobility in his core.” Despite his injury, he congratulated Hughes, calling him a great fighter, and said he deserved his victory. Recently BJ has announced that he will continue to fight in the UFC and remains dedicated to regaining the welterweight title.6
Penn is a coach for The Ultimate Fighter 5, which aired on April 5, 2007. Penn leads a team of eight lightweight fighters, and will have a rematch with Jens Pulver at the conclusion of the series.
B.J. Penn was arrested on May 8, 2005 outside a nightclub in Waikiki, Honolulu after he allegedly assaulted a police officer. Penn was apparently among a crowd outside the club when a fight broke out, and was accused of striking an officer during the breakup of the fight.7 According to his lawyer, Penn was trying to retrieve his brother from the fracas and shoved someone to his side to get into the crowd, who turned out to be the policeman.8 Penn was later indicted, but as of August 2006, the case has not been resolved.9
Mixed martial arts record
|Loss||Matt Hughes||TKO (Strikes)||UFC 63: Hughes vs. Penn||9/23/2006||3||3:53||For UFC Welterweight Championship|
|Loss||Georges St. Pierre||Decision (Split)||UFC 58: USA vs. Canada||3/4/2006||3||5:00|
|Win||Renzo Gracie||Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 World Grand Prix Hawaii||7/29/2005||3||5:00|
|Loss||Lyoto Machida||Decision (Unanimous)||K-1 Hero’s 1||3/26/2005||3||5:00||At 205 lbs|
|Win||Rodrigo Gracie||Decision (Unanimous)||ROTR 6-Rumble on the Rock 6||11/20/2004||3||5:00|
|Win||Duane Ludwig||Submission (Arm Triangle Choke)||K-1 MMA-ROMANEX||5/22/2004||1||1:45|
|Win||Matt Hughes||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||UFC 46: Supernatural||1/31/2004||1||4:39||Wins UFC Welterweight Championship|
|Win||Takanori Gomi||Submission (Rear Naked Choke)||ROTR 4-Rumble on the Rock 4||10/10/2003||3||2:35|
|Draw||Caol Uno||Draw||UFC 41: Onslaught||2/28/2003||5||5:00||For UFC Lightweight Championship; no title is awarded due to draw|
|Win||Matt Serra||Decision (Unanimous)||UFC 39: The Warriors Return||9/27/2002||3||5:00|
|Win||Paul Creighton||TKO (Strikes)||UFC 37: High Impact||5/10/2002||2||3:23|
|Loss||Jens Pulver||Decision (Majority)||UFC 35: Throwdown||1/11/2002||5||5:00||For UFC Lightweight Championship|
|Win||Caol Uno||KO (Punches)||UFC 34: High Voltage||11/2/2001||1||0:11|
|Win||Din Thomas||TKO (Strikes)||UFC 32: Showdown in the Meadowlands||6/29/2001||1||2:42|
|Win||Joey Gilbert||TKO (Strikes)||UFC 31: Locked and Loaded||5/4/2001||1||4:57|
“He spent the night in a hospital, I spent the night at a bar.”
-after his 3 round split decision loss to Georges St. Pierre at UFC 58
- Official Website
- Professional MMA record for BJ Penn from Sherdog.com
- Interview with Mike Sloan
- Interview with UltimeFanatic.com
- Highlight Video
- Officical Fan Site of B.J. Penn
Matt Hughes (fighter)
|4th UFC Welterweight Champion
January 31, 2004 – February 2004
Matt Hughes (fighter)
|Alan Berube | Nathan Diaz | Robert Emerson | Manvel Gambaryan | Brian Geraghty | Corey Hill | Joe Lauzon | Gray Maynard | Brandon Melendez | Cole Miller | Gabe Ruediger | Marlon Sims | Noah Thomas | Andy Wang | Wayne Weems | Matt Wiman
Coaches: B.J. Penn | Jens Pulver
* Page name: BJ Penn
* Author: Wikipedia contributors
* Publisher: Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia.
* Permanent link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B._J._Penn