When BJ Penn announced his retirement after losing to Nick Diaz at UFC 137, many hardcore MMA fans hoped he would eventually change his mind. They'll now get their wish, as the former two-division champion has decided to step back inside the Octagon to face Rory MacDonald at UFC 152.
MacDonald set things in motion during a recent appearance on "The MMA hour" expressing his desire to face the future hall of famer.
"There's a guy that I want to fight before he leaves this sport, and that's BJ Penn," MacDonald told Ariel Helwani. "He's a guy I really want to fight. I respect him a lot. He's a legend. I think it'll be a really good matchup for me to have that fight in Toronto. … If he wants the fight, I think it'll be a great fight. … We'll see if he accepts."
Not one to waste time on elaborate speeches, Penn's reply was short and simple.
"Rory, I accept your challenge!" Penn stated on his website.
While the fight isn't yet official, I'm pretty sure the UFC will jump on the opportunity to bring BJ back. Regardless of the result of his UFC 137 bout against Nick Diaz, Penn is still an elite level fighter, and he matches up well against MacDonald.
Without a doubt, MacDonald is one of the most promising young fighters in the UFC, with wins over the likes of Nate Diaz and Che Mills. Currently sporting a 13-1 record, the 22 year-old deserves some credit for going after a legend like Penn. UFC 152 is scheduled for Sept. 22 in Toronto, CA, and I'm sure his fellow Canadians will come out in droves to support him.
Penn hasn't been particularly impressive ever since he lost his lightweight title to Frankie Edgar at UFC 112, but he's still capable of competing with the very best. A win against MacDonald would put in back in title contention, and that should give him more than enough motivation for his return to the UFC.
BJ Penn.com, "BJ Penn: 'Rory, I accept your challenge'"
Fight and fighter information from Sherdog.com
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