Last week when former lightweight champ BJ Penn released his autobiography, Why I Fight, many wondered why UFC president Dana White and Co. refused to endorse their athlete’s life story. Well, the first excerpt of the book has hit the Internet and it’s clear why the modern day Don King didn’t want fans reading what Penn was writing.
Here’s how the Hawaiian interpreted the bitter divorce and his one-sided telephone conversation with White, courtesy of BloodyElbow.com:
“K-1 was offering me $187,500 per fight – five times what the UFC was offering – and I was still willing to stay with them for one-third of that amount. This was when the relationship took a turn for the worse, and my view of White changed drastically. From that point on, I knew when it came to money, we couldn’t trust him to treat us right. Did I like him at the dinner table? Sure. But at the negotiating table? Not at all. The pressure to perform and safeguard other people’s money had changed him, even though he was constantly bragging to anyone willing to listen about how ‘big this thing was going to be.’ Things between us would never be the same.
“When it was finally official I was going to fight in Japan, White called me up and told me his true feelings. ‘You motherf–ker! You’re f–king done! You’ll never fight in the UFC again! You’re finished. You’re scorched earth, motherf–ker. Scorched earth. Don’t call me crying saying you want to come back because you’re f–king done!’ And on and on and on, like a true professional – even going so far as to tell me I would never see my face again in a UFC video, promotion, or anything else. He also planned on removing my fight with Hughes from the UFC 46 DVD so no one would even know who I was. ‘It doesn’t have to be this way,’ I told him. ‘You know it wouldn’t take that much to make this work.’ But he just kept yelling.”