Former UFC champion BJ Penn ignored Josh Koscheck when “Kos” pushed for a match. “The Prodigy” also told Gilbert Melendez he believed fighting in Strikeforce was a step down.
Rory MacDonald, though, offered up exactly what Penn was looking for. The rising prospect, who issued a challenge to Penn earlier this week, will face the Hawaiian at UFC 152 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
MacDonald, along with being an up-and-coming name in the welterweight division, trains out of Tri-Star Gym in Canada. That is the same stomping grounds of Georges St-Pierre, who has had a pair of hotly-contested bouts with Penn.
“My last fight against Tri-Star (a loss to GSP) didn’t go so well,” said Penn, while appearing on Just Scrap Radio Thursday (thanks to MMAMania.com for transcribing). “I would love to take another crack at Tri-Star to show them. There is no bad blood…but I’d like to get up there and show Tri-Star Gym and their fans, or whatever, that I am a worthy opponent and that I am not just a guy that is going to walk in the ring and somebody is just going to walk across and crush me.”
Many wondered if an event hosted by the UFC in Hawaii would make for the perfect comeback fight for Penn, but he has no problems heading to MacDonald’s home for the fight.
“I am going to go to the belly of the beast,” Penn said. “I just want to go over there and take care of this. I am going to go to the belly of the beast and see a fire-breathing dragon and take out my sword.”
Penn announced his retirement last year following a loss to Nick Diaz. Many see MacDonald as the future of the welterweight division if he remains there long enough to secure the UFC title.