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Rory MacDonald not only got his wish to fight BJ Penn personally granted by The Prodigy, but the rising Canadian welterweight contender will do so as the five-round main event in his home country at UFC 152 in Toronto. The news was first broken on Twitter by Liver Kick's Rian Scalia:
Rory MacDonald vs BJ Penn is the main event of UFC 152....
Neither the fighters nor the UFC have confirmed this, although Scalia's tweet has since been picked up by other MMA sites.
BJ Penn has not fought since his lopsided loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 last October, a fight in which he effectively announced he was taking time off from fighting in the post-fight interview with Joe Rogan. Penn's record as a welterweight in the UFC is fairly mediocre, at just 2-4-1 with two losses coming via TKO against Georges St. Pierre and Matt Hughes. Both of his wins were against Hughes, a full six years apart.
The 22-year-old MacDonald, considered one of the best prospects in MMA today, is 4-1 in the UFC and 13-1 overall. His most recent fight was a 2nd round TKO of Englishman Che Mills in the co-main event of UFC 145. He also holds dominant wins over Nate Diaz and Mike Pyle, and his only defeat was a dramatic TKO loss to current interim champion Carlos Condit at UFC 115, in which MacDonald was stopped with just 7 seconds left in the final round. He recently expressed his desire to fight Penn on The MMA Hour with Ariel Helwani last month.
UFC 152 is scheduled for September 22nd at the Air Canada Centre in Toronto, the second of three Canadian-based PPVs for the UFC, with the third in Montreal on November 17th.
BJ Penn (16-8-2 MMA, 12-7-2 UFC)
L - Nick Diaz (unanimous decision) - UFC 137
D - Jon Fitch (majority draw) - UFC 127
W - Matt Hughes (1st round KO) - UFC 123
Rory MacDonald (13-1 MMA, 4-1 UFC)
W - Che Mills (2nd round TKO) - UFC 145
W - Mike Pyle (1st round TKO) - UFC 133
W - Nate Diaz (unanimous decision) - UFC 129