BJ Penn Photo by Anton Tabuena
Yeserday, we found out the UFC intends to impress in December on UFC On Fox 5 by featuring a Lightweight title bout and a Light Heavyweight contenders fight. Backing up those fights will be former multi-division champion B.J. Penn and rising Welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald. The two were originally scheduled to fight at UFC 152 on September 22. Unfortunately, Rory sustained a large cut during training and the bout was put on hold.
I know the reason why Rory [MacDonald] pulled out on September 22nd. The cut is a detail but I know the reason why he pulled out is because he knew he wasn't gonna win. If he let that cut heal, tried to train, whatever it was, whether he should have been in shape already... I've never heard of a guy pulling out of a fight 10 weeks early from a cut. Never in my life have I heard of a guy, 10 weeks before a fight, he got cut, he pulled out. You know what I mean?
He feels he has to to what's best for him, for his team, they're gonna do that, but it's 100 percent fact that the reason why they pulled out is because they knew they were gonna lose on September 22nd. If not, you wouldn't pull out, you would go. Like I said, I had a cut on my eye, 13 stitches inside and out five weeks before the Diaz fight. Didn't care. Opened up from eight weeks every week all the way up to the fifth week before the Diaz fight but did I ever think about pulling out? Not even once.
This is the first time, to my knowledge, that Penn has discussed his pre-fight injury heading into the fight with Nick Diaz. For what it's worth, MacDonald's cut was more severe than Penn's and required 38 stitches. Additionally, Penn is somewhat infamous for his lack of dedication to difficult training.
Since returning to Welterweight, Penn has gone 1-1 with a 30 second KO of Matt Hughes and a destructive decision loss to Nick Diaz. This will be the last fight on B.J.'s current UFC contract and it hasn't been announced whether or not he's decided to re-sign with the UFC. MacDonald is on a 3-fight win streak with his only career loss coming to Interim champion Carlos Condit. A win over Penn in December would do a lot to move him toward future contendership.