Which UFC star got stuck in a wave pool and had a near-death experience?

B.J. Penn is a former two-division UFC champion. Penn is among the few guys that are always in a conversation when greatest mixed martial artists of all time are discussed.

He recently shared his experience of nearly drowning in a wave pool in 2021. Penn’s background in martial arts and tough opponents inside the octagon played a pivotal role in keeping him calm and composed during the life-threatening situation.

“Last year when I got sucked into a wave pool engine room and thought I was going to die… 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.”

The Hawaiian took to Instagram to recount the incident. According to his post, he was surfing for an hour in the wave pool when the line began to get longer, and the first wave, known as the “dud wave,” came back.

Penn, sitting next to the wall, was so close to it that the wave pushed him and his surfboard underneath a huge cement wall, sucking him into the engine room of the wave pool.

Penn’s injuries from the suction injury are visible in the photo he uploaded to Instagram. Swimming pool suction injuries pose a significant risk of fatal consequences, making Penn’s survival all the more miraculous.


Penn’s background in the UFC enabled him to remain calm during the life-threatening incident. He credits his years spent in combat sports tough opponents inside the octagon for allowing him to stay composed and level-headed. According to Penn, if he had not competed against tough opponents his whole life, he might have panicked.