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BJ Penn & Dana White Clash Over UFC Promo Interviews (Update)

For whatever reason, BJ Penn is suddenly not cool with how the UFC producers manipulate the interviews they use for their promos. The beef started the other day when BJ Penn released a video claiming that the Countdown producers forced him to say he would beat Nick Diaz (seen above). Transcription via BE:

“One thing that was a trip about that whole thing,” Penn said, “was that I gotta lot of respect for Diaz, I trained with him before that whole thing. And they forced me to say at the of the whole thing, they forced me to say– You gotta say Nick Diaz’s name now. You gotta say his name. … They’re like, ‘Say you’re gonna beat Nick Diaz. Say you’re gonna beat Nick Diaz.'”

Dana White, who admittedly has butted heads with BJ throughout his career, responded by releasing “raw and uncut” footage of the interview in question to We only hear the producer asking Penn if he’s going to beat Nick Diaz to which Penn immediately responds “I will defeat Nick Diaz.”

So Dana wins, right? Well, that round at least, but then the Penn camp responded with footage of a different interview where the producer is seen telling Penn, “hype the fight… tell me you’re gonna beat the shit out of him, then kill Anderson Silva.” To be fair, it appears more innocent in the video than it does in print.

Here’s’s explaining why they released the clip.

I have attached a video in response to the recent issue started by the article released on…

If you watch it, it will show the UFC interviewer specifically instigating trash talking from BJ. While BJ’s recent recount may not have been 100% accurate based on what the video released allowed you to see, our video shows them asking for specific items from BJ in hopes to hype the fight.

So forgive us for a slightly innacurate recount of events, but as you can see, we are used to the UFC making requests that instigate a fighter to say things he would not normally say and for that reason BJ is somewhat sensetive to these types of baited interviews now.

That is all.

I’m not really sure what to say about all this. I mean it’s not like it’s shocking news that producers sometimes steer fighters in a certain direction when they cut these promo interviews. I guess the bigger question is why is Penn making a big deal about it all of a sudden?

Update: BJ Penn has released a statement basically telling everyone to move along, nothing to see here.

“I have no idea how this UFC interviewer situation got this big. I never wanted to attack the UFC, people were calling and telling me Diaz wasn’t going to sign and I got paranoid thinking they were going to use that clip to get him to sign the contract, my bad. The real truth is, I’m not focusing on this at all, this is not important, whats important is fighting Nick Diaz at UFC 137. He will be by far the most dangerous opponent I have ever stepped inside the octagon with.”

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