After a brief period of speculation surrounding the possibility of a replacement, it looks like UFC icon B.J. Penn will still face Rory MacDonald as originally planned before “Ares” suffered a cut in training forcing him out of their September scrap at UFC 152. However, rather than Penn-MacDonald mixing it up on PPV the two will apparently face off on free television as part of the lineup for UFC on FOX 5.
The show is scheduled for December 8.
News of the new date first surfaced on this week’s episode of MMA Uncensored. MMAJunkie has since confirmed Penn-MacDonald will serve as the card’s co-headliner rather than the main event.
When MacDonald first announced his withdrawal a number of other fighters stepped up to express their interest in facing Penn. Unfortunately for them, “The Prodigy” never wavered in his desire to duke it out with MacDonald based on the Canadian youngster’s buzz and affiliation with TriStar MMA (where Penn-rival Georges St-Pierre trains).
Penn will enter the bout after more than a year-long absence from the Octagon due to his premature retirement after a loss in October 2011. Meanwhile, MacDonald is on a three-fight winning streak and considered to be on the cusp of a title-shot.
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC