HONOLULU, HI — Former UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) Lightweight champion BJ Benn has been referring everyone in his personal life to BJPenn.com lately, and his friends and family are concerned. Whenever he is asked for a question or comment, he never responds and simply tells them to go to BJPenn.com.
The behavior started right after Penn defeated arch rival Jens Pulver at the Ultimate Fighter 5 Finale.
After Penn submitted Pulver, he was interviewed in the Octagon by UFC announcer Joe Rogan.
Rather than give a thorough, detailed analysis like Pulver did, Penn simply told everyone to go to BJPenn.com if they wanted to know his thoughts.
A stunned Rogan didn’t know what to do, and the cameras cut immediately to announcer Mike Goldberg.
Penn’s website crashed that night, and once it was back up, there was no mention of the Pulver fight at all.
“That strategy worked so well, I decided to keep doing it with everyone,” wrote Penn from his website. “If anyone wants to know what I have to say, they can just log on to this site. Imagine the traffic I’ll get.”
Still, his close circle of family and friends are deeply concerned.
“I called him the other day to wish him a happy birthday and tell him I love him,” said his mother. “Instead of thanking me and telling me he loves me, he told me to go to BJPenn.com if I wanted to know how he felt.”
The comment hurt Mrs. Penn, and she has not spoken to her son since.
“It’s one thing to do that on television after a big fight, but I’m his only mother. I deserve more personal attention than that.”
His trainers in Hawaii have noted to others that it has become almost impossible to communicate with Penn since the Pulver fight.
“He carries his BlackBerry around constantly,” said BJ’s brother, Jaydee Penn. “Just last night we were out to dinner, and the waiter asked him what he wanted to order. BJ typed in his order on the BlackBerry, uploaded it to his website, and then told the waiter to go to BJPenn.com.”
Restaurant owners at the Grand Cafe in Honolulu confirmed the incident. Hidden cameras captured the conversation, which The Armpit received a transcript of:
Waiter: Can I take your order, sir?
(more silence, as Penn is seen typing into his BlackBerry)
Penn: There, it’s online now. If you want to know my order, go to BJPenn.com.
Waiter: Excuse me, sir?
Penn: I said if you want to know my order, go to BJPenn.com.
Waiter: (undecipherable whispers to other members of Penn’s party)
Jaydee: (Rolls his eyes) He does this all the time, sorry. Just see if you can find a computer or something, his order should be on the main page of the site.
(waiter looks around and then leaves to a nearby computer terminal)
Penn’s girlfriend also complained to friends, saying that BJ brings his laptop to bed, even typing during romantic encounters.
“It’s getting so f*ckin’ ridiculous!” she said. “It’s like that laptop is attached to his fingers these days. Even when we’re intimate, he’s typing. Last night I asked him, ‘Did you come?’ He told me if I wanted to know if he had an orgasm, to go to BJPenn.com.”
Penn explained in Monday morning’s website post that the approach has worked well for him.
“I’m a pretty famous guy, you know,” he wrote. “People come up to me all the time, asking for autographs and stuff. Instead of wasting my time chatting with all the fans, now I just refer them to this website. Traffic is up, and people leave me alone now. It’s awesome.”
UFC referee John McCarthy didn’t seem impressed when he heard about Penn’s behavior.
“He better not pull that BJPenn.com nonsense with me,” said McCarthy via telephone from his home in Los Angeles. “If he’s locked in an armbar and I ask him if he wants to submit, I don’t have time to be logging on to some computer to get his answer. He better tap out or get out, because I will not stand for that.”
Penn was available for comment, but referred us to BJPenn.com for follow-up.