UPDATE: B.J. Penn Shuts Down Filming Prior to Tonight’s UFC Primetime

January 21, 2009
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The second installment of UFC Primetime — featuring a behind the scenes look at Georges St. Pierre and B.J. Penn leading up to their mega-fight next week at UFC 94 — airs tonight on Spike TV, although not without a little more controversy than might have been planned.

During recent taping for the “up to the minute” series, Penn apparently became disenchanted with the way he was being portrayed on the show, according to a report on MMAJunkie.com, and cut off filming in the middle of an interview segment, denying further access to his gym.

(UPDATE) MMAWeekly.com on Wednesday spoke with Penn’s press representatives who did confirm the report with J.D. Penn, the fighter’s brother/manager. J.D. verified that it is true that B.J. was unhappy with his portrayal on Primetime and cut off access to himself and his gym. Neither J.D. nor B.J. would comment any further, other than verifying the fallout.

The ratings for the first episode — which is scheduled to air on three consecutive Wednesdays on Spike TV — drew an average of 880,000 viewers for the initial airing and followed with 690,000 viewers in its repeat performance.

The rift with Penn may be another headache for UFC President Dana White to deal with, but Spike TV officials have to be salivating with the added drama to the fiery relationship between White and Penn, which is likely to drive further interest in the new series.

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