The highlight of today’s UFC 101 conference call, aside from a joke question about whether B.J. Penn has ever done gay porn, was Penn’s tirade against the MMA media, particularly MMA Weekly. He said he was unhappy about how he was portrayed following the Georges St. Pierre fight, blaming MMA Weekly specifically for, at least in his mind, making his appeal to the Nevada State Athletic Commission seem extremely whiny rather than just annoyingly whiny. What’s worse, Penn added, he did a lot to help the Ryan Bennett Memorial Fund after the death of the MMA Weekly founder, and this should apparently guarantee positive coverage from them years later.
It’s worth remembering that this is the same B.J. Penn who got pissed off at the producers of the “UFC Primetime” series for their portrayal of him, and all those guys did was point at a camera at him while he talked and went on vacation.
Not that we can’t understand why he might not have liked what many in the MMA media were saying about him during his GSP Is A Greasy Cheater Tour of 2009. But that probably has less to do with an anti-Penn agenda in the media than it does with how he actually conducted himself during that time. He brought his mom in to testify for some bizarre reason, he asked for GSP to be showered before fights, and he swore off the state of Nevada altogether.
Whether he ever actually believed that there was a magic grease pill is a relatively minor issue, since a) it was in his complaint, whether he put it there or not, and b) it’s not as if the coverage of his appeal centered around that. No one’s out to smear Penn, but they are out to tell the story as they see it, which might not be always be favorable to him. If he’s still upset that MMA media outlets portrayed him as a whiner, that’s somewhat understandable. But chances are that whining about it now isn’t going to help.