Its official – B.J. Penn is back!
Though no specific date has been confirmed for the return of the reluctantly retired former UFC champion, “The Prodigy” is indeed poised to fight again after accepting the challenge of rising welterweight Rory MacDonald. The 22-year old Canadian brought Penn’s name up earlier this week in an interview on The MMA Hour, showing respect for the surefire Hall of Famer laced with his desire to face a legend.
Penn expressed his willingness to take the tilt in a single-sentence post on his website. It was also said the bout could take place on September 22 at UFC 152 in Toronto.
MacDonald, who is seen as one of the division’s top contenders, is 13-1 thus far in his career including a trio of wins in his last three outings. He has finished twelve of the opponents he’s beaten with the lone exception involving a three-round drumming of Nate Diaz in April 2011.
The 16-8 Penn has not necessarily fared well at 170 pounds in his career minus his memorable championship win over Matt Hughes. However, his reputation as one of the sports true greats is well-earned given the technical mastery and toughness he’s shown in his career, even in defeat, as well as his past success against the likes of Sean Sherk, Kenny Florian, Diego Sanchez, Matt Serra, Takanori Gomi, and Renzo Gracie.
Prior to this week’s developments Penn had stated his satisfaction with the decision to take time off on multiple occasions, even turning down a recently offered clash with Josh Koscheck.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC