Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
Bloody Elbow presents their UFC on Fox 5 fight card primer, previewing all the action at UFC on Fox 5 this Saturday. Here, we look at B.J. Penn vs. Rory MacDonald.
In one of the big fights at UFC on Fox 5, former UFC Welterweight and Lightweight champion B.J. Penn (16-8-2 MMA; 12-7-2 UFC) faces Rory MacDonald (13-1 MMA; 4-1 UFC). This is the second of four main card bouts on the Fox broadcast. UFC on Fox 5 airs this Saturday night, December 8 at 8:00 p.m. ET / 5:00 p.m. PT.
This is the first of two fights to feature the young lions vs. veteran format. On the veteran side you've got B.J. Penn, a true legend of the sport who debuted 11 years ago at UFC 31. He's also fighting for the first time in over a year here. Representing the new generation is Canadian Rory MacDonald, who is quickly rising up the UFC ranks. With the Welterweight title picture in a bit of a logjam, the winner here might not find himself immediately in the hunt, but this is about more than just title shots.
How do these two stack up?
Penn: 33 years old | 5'9" | 70" reach
MacDonald: 23 years old | 6'0" | 76.5" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
"The Prodigy" B.J. Penn is an easy Hall of Fame fighter, with an incredible list of accomplishments. He's also just 1-3-1 in the last 3 years. The former champion made a return to Welterweight in 2010, but was stopped in his run to a title shot by Nick Diaz. After that fight, he retired from MMA, though it lasted only a year. He says he's in great shape, and it seems MacDonald may have lit a fire under the veteran.
Rory MacDonald has been receiving huge praise for the past few years. He's had dominating wins, with his only loss coming in a close fight against Carlos Condit. But he has not yet had a big, career making win, as his last few opponents have not been major names. The Tristar Gym trainee is in a tough spot thanks to his relationship with champion GSP, but it's clear he has a very bright future ahead of him.
Why should you care?
Veteran vs. up and comer sells me every time. This is a huge fight, reminiscent in many ways to Penn vs. GSP I back in 2006. That was great - this should be too.
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