Things started off cordially between UFC rising star Rory MacDonald and two-division champion BJ Penn, but that’s starting to change. McDonald isn’t really happy with the comments Penn made about the TriStar fight camp, and he lashed out at “The Prodigy” during a pre-fight press conference.
“No, that’s on him if he’s worried about TriStar,” McDonald told reporters. “I don’t care about that, I fight for myself and that’s it. I am not worried about that. He is all upset because Georges [St. Pierre] whooped him, but, I am going to hurt him even worse. I am training for the best B.J. I am just preparing myself to be the best version. … I don’t know where B.J. is at. You know, he didn’t even show up to this. He is dropping out of the VADA testing. Last time I saw him he looked really out of shape. I don’t know where his head is at in this, but, he better get serious or I am going to hurt him very badly.”
Penn’s comments about the TriStar gym were on the mild side, so it’s a little shocking McDonald is taking things so personally.
“Rory’s the man right now,” Penn said shortly after the fight was announced. “He’s got a lot of hype around him. Also, he comes from Tri-Star Gym, with Firas [Zahabi] and that whole team. Bygones, the past is the past. No bad blood. But I want another crack at them. I want another crack at the team, and Rory’s the man right now. Everybody knows who he is.”
Rory McDonald certainly looks like the future of the UFC’s welterweight division, putting up a 4-1 record in the UFC against respectable opponents. At only 24 years-old, the sky is the limit for him, but he’ll be in for the fight of his life when he faces Penn at UFC 152.
When in shape, Penn is one of the greatest fighters to ever grace the Octagon, and I wouldn’t count him out against MacDonald at UFC 152. He beat Nick Diaz at his own game at UFC 137, out-boxing the Stockton native during the first round of their encounter. Things could have turned out differently if BJ’s cardio didn’t fail him in the latter rounds.
An in-shape, focused Penn is certainly capable of upsetting MacDonald at UFC 152, and I expect the fight between the two to exceed expectations.
Adam Guillen Jr, “UFC 152’s Rory MacDonald vows to hurt ‘out of shape’ B.J. Penn…”
Kevin Haggerty, “B.J. Penn: Fight against Rory MacDonald is a chance to get back…”
David is a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and boxing practitioner who has watched and studied MMA for the past 9 years. Send him your questions @davidkingwriter.