Jay Dee Penn, commonly known as B.J Penn, is an American-born certified mixed martial artist as well as a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner. Penn is accredited as one of the greatest fighters in history in addition to being the greatest lightweight fighter in MMA history.
Penn has had a series of wins as he has defeated numerous fighters such as Diego Sanchez, Matt Serra, and Paul Creighton among others. Additionally, he has also lost to other fighters like Lyoto Machida, Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz, and Frankie Edgar. The world’s Jiu-Jitsu gold medalist is currently competing in the featherweight UFC division. Here is everything you need to know about his career, daughters, girlfriend, parents, net worth and more.
B.J Penn profile summary
- Full name: Jay Dee Penn III
- Nicknames: B.J Penn, baby Jay
- Age: 40 years
- Date of birth: 13th December 1978
- Place of birth: Kailua, Hawaii, United States
- Current residence: Hilo, Hawai, US
- Height: 5 feet 9 inches
- Weight: 66 kg (145 lbs)
- Nationality: American
- Ethnicity: Multiracial
- Occupation: Mixed Martial Artist, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu practitioner
- Net worth: $22 million
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B.J Penn biography
B. J Penn was born on 13th December 1978 and given the name Jay Dee Penn III. What does B.J Penn stand for? The initials B.J is a short form of his nickname Baby Jay. He was born in Kailua, Hawaii in the United States of America thus he is of American nationality. Penn was born to his father Jay Dee Penn and his mother, Lorraine Shin. B.J Penn has three siblings namely, Jay Dee Penn, Jay Dee Penn II, and Reagan. He is the youngest Jay Dee Penn hence his name the III.
At the young age of 17 years, he started training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Later on, he relocated to San Jose, California where he began training at the Ralph Gracie BJJ academy. Afterward, he decided to pursue a career as a professional mixed martial artist.
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Here is an outline of his career path:
In 1997, he started training for Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under the instructions of Ralph Gracie. It is during this training that he achieved his purple belt from Ralph. In 2000, he relocated to Nova Uniao where he attained his black belt. It made him the first non-Brazilian to earn the world’s Jiu-Jitsu Championship black-belt division.
Beforehand, he had won other awards in different divisions such as the silver medal in blue belt division and bronze medal in the brown belt division.
Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC)
B.J made his debut in mixed martial arts in May 2001 and defeated Joey Gilbert. His first win in the MMA championship was the Rumble on the Rock Lightweight. During the Rumble on the Rock Lightweight Championship in K-1 Fighting Network’s Rumble on the Rock, he defeated Takanori Gomi, the future PRIDE Lightweight Champion.
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In 2014, he won his 1st UFC Championship, Welterweight Championship and he defeated Matt Hughes, the 5-time UFC Welterweight defending champion. This fight was recorded as the greatest submission triumphs in the entire history of mixed martial arts.
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Fighting and entertainment group
Penn signed up to fight for the Japanese Fighting and Entertainment Groups (FEG) under the K-1 promotion. In 2004 he won over Duane Ludwig in MMA Romans and against Gracie in Middleweight division.
In 2005, in the opening event of Fighting and Entertainment Group (FEG), brand new MMA promotion Hero’s, he lost to Lyoto Machida.
At the K-1 World Grand Prix Hawaii, he conquered Renzo Gracie, the Pride Fighting Championship veteran.
Coming back to the Ultimate Fighting Championship
He returned to the UFC in 2006 where he re-debuted in the March event though he lost it to Georges St-Pierre.
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In September 2006, he got another chance of facing Hughes in the UFC 63 event for the Welterweight Championship. Unfortunately, during the second round of the fight, he sustained an injury on his ribs that made him loose to Hughes. In 2007, he became the coach for The Ultimate 5.
In January 2008, during the UFC 80 Lightweight championship, he triumphed over Joe Stevenson in round two. He was named as the Beat down of the Year by Sherdog. It also made him the 2nd individual to win UFC titles in two different divisions after Randy Couture.
In May 2008, he was on the spot to defend the Lightweight Championship title by fighting against Sean Shrek. The fight between Penn and Shrek was considered the biggest fight in UFC Lightweight division history.
He challenged Georges for the St-Georges Welterweight title, but Georges won against him during the 4th fourth round when the referee stopped the game. During the fight, Penn sustained severe injuries that he was taken to the hospital and therefore he never attended the post-fight press conference.
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After the injury, he came back to the Lightweight division in December 2009 at UFC 107, in which he won the Lightweight Championship by defeating Diego Sanchez in TKO 5th round. In April 2010, his 8-year reigning streak came to an end in the lightweight division after losing to Frankie Edgar in the UFC 112 event.
He came back to the UFC 123 welterweight event where he successfully defeated Matt Hughes. However, his fight at the UFC 127 event, with Jon Fitch came to an end in a draw. In November 2011, during the UFC 137, he lost to Nick Diaz, and he consequently announced his retirement plans.
In December 2012, Rory MacDonald challenged him for a fight which he gladly accepted. They fought at the UFC on Fox 5, but unfortunately, he lost to MacDonald through a unanimous decision. Afterward, he transferred to the Featherweight division in 2013, as a coach for the 19th session of ‘The Ultimate Fighter’.
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After losing to Edgar, he announced that he intended to retire, thus taking an 18-month break. How did B.J Penn get his belt back in 3 years? In January 2016, he announced that he would be returning to the featherweight division fight. During the non-fight phase, he used medically-administered IV that lead to the cancellation of his fight with Cole Miller that was scheduled to take place in June 2016.
In January 2017, he lost to Yair Rodriguez during the UFC Fight Night at the 103 event. In December 2018, he went back to Lightweight at the UFC 232, although he lost to Ryan Hall. In May 2019, he lost at the UFC 237 to Clay Guida.
Throughout his entire professional career, B.J Penn record stands at 16 wins, 12 losses, and 2 draws. How many fights has B.J Penn lost in a row? In his past eleven contests, he has lost seven and just won one in a run stretching to 2010.
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Who is B.J Penn’s wife? The martial artist is not yet married but dating Shealen Uaiwa and together they have two daughters. However, not much is known about the children.
Family and parents
B. J Penn family is made of 6 individuals in total, four siblings and two parents. B. J Penn parents are Jay Dee Penn and Lorraine. His father’s ethnicity is Irish American while his mother is a Korean American. Although he is of American nationality, his ethnicity is multi-racial.
B. J Penn house
The MMA champion owns a home in Hawaii. However, not too many details are given about the house.
B.J Penn’s net worth
What is B.J Penn’s net worth? His net worth is estimated to stand at $22 million. His earnings come from his professional career as a mixed martial artist. He also accumulated some income from fight wins, contracts, and bonuses.
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P.J Penn is a force to reckon with in the mixed martial arts sector as seen in his successful wins. Although he has lost in several fights as well, he remains one of the greatest fighters in history.
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