by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
In Honolulu on Friday, current UFC lightweight fighter B.J. Penn pleaded no contest for reduced charges stemming from an assault charge in 2005.
Originally a felony charge, Penn was arrested after punching a police officer in the face while a fight was taking place outside of a nightclub in Waikiki.
The new plea will drop from a felony to third degree misdemeanor assault charges and as reported to KITV in Hawaii, Penn’s attorney stated he doesn’t expect him to serve any jail time when the sentence is handed down in December.
The news comes just weeks after Penn was announced as the #1 contender for the UFC lightweight title and he was expected to fight current champion, Sean Sherk, in November for the title.
The fight with Sherk is now in question due to Sherk’s steroid-related suspension, which could keep him out of the sport for a year, pending his appeal on Monday. Many have speculated that the champion would likely be stripped of his championship if the suspension remains intact.
As previously stated, Penn will now face his sentencing for the misdemeanor charges in a Hawaii court in December.