In the eyes of many, UFC icon B.J. Penn’s face would be at home on a Mount Rushmore of MMA. The fan-favorite has won titles in two divisions, never backs down from a fight, and comes to entertain every time he steps into the Octagon. However, to welterweight Rory MacDonald Penn is a fellow competitor and nothing more.
MacDonald opened up on a recent Road to the Octagon special promoting his UFC on FOX 5 bout with Penn where he spoke about “The Prodigy” in terms far from those often associated with the surefire Hall of Famer.
“As a young kid, I looked up to people. As a man, I don’t anymore,” stated MacDonald. “He’s just another fighter on his way to losing.”
The 23-year old’s confidence comes from nearly a decade of training and intense focus on achieving a level of success unlike many, if any, of his peers.
“When I first started, when I was 14, I had a lot of anger issues I guess. Or rage,” revealed MacDonald. “I channel it through fighting, through training…getting better at something, growing as a martial artist.”
To foster that development, “Ares” headed to Montreal as a teenager and linked up with Tristar MMA. Though the circumstances were not initially ideal, his performances in the cage have proven it was the right move.
“It was either stay where I was and not develop as much or sacrifice some things and maybe be the greatest,” said MacDonald. “I hear all these guys, they talk about they want to fight the best version of whatever fighter…but I’m just in there to collect bodies and pile ‘em up. That’s all.”
The full Road to the Octagon special can be seen below:
PHOTO CREDIT – UFC