- BJ Penn was the first American gold medalist at the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship and just the second fighter in UFC history to win titles in multiple weight classes.
- The legendary mixed martial artist now reveals that last year he almost died when he was accidentally sucked into a wave pool engine room while surfing.
- More UFC news here.
UFC Hall of Famer BJ Penn fought 32 times for two professional MMA organizations over 19 years, but perhaps the closest he’s come to death occurred when he was sucked into the engine room of a wave pool at a water park.
Showing off some of the injuries he suffered in the frightening incident on Instagram, the 42-year-old BJ Penn recounted exactly what happened with a truly harrowing tale of survival.
“Last year when I got sucked into a wave pool engine room and thought I was going to die…” Penn wrote. I kept thinking ‘don’t die for your kids.’
“I was surfing for a about an hour and the line started getting longer to catch the wave. I was sitting next to the owner of the wave pool by the ‘wall’ where the waves come from.
“The first wave it shoots out is a dud to get everyone ready for the next wave. The dud wave came back and because I was so close to the wall the wave swallowed me and pushed me and my surfboard underneath a huge cement wall.
“I remember feeling like I was getting sucked in a pipe and at that moment I got scared. It ended up pushing me into a big dark cement room that fills up with water to push the next wave for the wave pool. It felt like I was in the movie SAW or Final Destination. The room would fill up with water to the top and I would hold my breath and then it would push the water out to make the wave and it was really rough inside there.
“Everything I bumped up against in the room that hurt me got infected. I got a bad sinus infection and a couple facial fractures from getting knocked around the cement walls and from the fractures the dirty water got in my face and infected my whole sinus. I was on antibiotics for three weeks for my face.
“While I was in the wave pool engine room I knew that one of my friends outside from big island is a legendary surfer and I knew he would come in there to rescue me so I stayed calm. A lot of other people might have panicked and maybe gave up but I just stayed strong for my kids.
“Anyway to make a long story short I survived that mother f—er!! The name of the people and water park have been left out. I not the [kind of] guy [who] shows up to your house to play and gets hurt and tries to sue you so all love to everyone who helped me get there and helped me survive.
“Maybe I was the first guy in history to get sucked into a wave pool engine room while it is in operation but no matter what happens in life and no matter how scary it is if I can offer you any advice I would just say to ‘stay calm.’ If I didn’t fight tough c–ts my whole life I might have panicked, but it was just another day in the office.”
Just another day at the office, indeed.