When UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald mixes it up with B.J. Penn this fall he won’t be facing a Top 10 adversary – he’ll be facing a legend. Penn’s status as one of MMA’s biggest stars was cemented a long time ago and he’ll enter their match-up with the added spotlight of ending his retirement to do so.
With all the attention on the fight MacDonald knows how much is on the line and plans to capitalize on it when they clash. As such, if he has his way, the 22-year old will not only beat Penn but do so in an exciting fashion.
“If B.J. and I go out there and put on a boring fight no one will want to see me fight the other top guys currently in the spotlight. On the flip side I can put on an exciting, technical fight and walk away victorious then it puts me in the mix and in the top five of the welterweight division,” said MacDonald in an interview with MMAFrenzy.
MacDonald will also have mentor and training partner Georges St-Pierre in his corner come showtime. GSP has fought Penn twice before, beating him both times, and will undoubtedly have valuable insight to offer. While MacDonald will listen out of respect, he also seems ready to separate himself from the pack a bit and create his own shadow instead of standing in St-Pierre’s.
“When it comes to fighting I can only rely on myself. Of course Georges can give me pointers and tips, but in the end it’s my fight and not his,” MacDonald explained.
MacDonald-Penn is currently linked to UFC 152 on September 22 in Toronto.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC
MMATraining Take: I don’t think MacDonald will have any problem exciting fans when he faces Penn but he’ll have a damn tough time avoiding boos, even in his home-area.