Apparently Dana White and the UFC really wanted BJ Penn to come out of retirement.
For the second time in approximately two months, the UFC has reportedly approached two large welterweight draws, TUFer Josh Koscheck and rising star, Rory MacDonald, to goad the former two-division champion into a return bout.
While Penn declined Koscheck’s May offer at a fight, the “Prodigy” acquiesced to MacDonald’s recent callout to meet the 22 year-old Canadian Tristar Gym member September 22, at UFC 152 in Toronto.
Although the young welterweight complied with UFC brass’s requests, “Ares” was originally interested in avenging the only loss in his near-perfect MMA career by fighting current Interim Welterweight Champion, Carlos “The Natural Born Killer” Condit.
Since suffering his only career loss at UFC 115 in a fight he was arguably winning, “Ares” has been on a tear. With a record of 3-0 since the TKO defeat Condit handed to him, MacDonald has used vicious ground and pound to finish Mike Pyle and Che Mills, while tossing the always tough, Nate Diaz around like a rag doll for the better part of three rounds en route to a unanimous decision victory.
Still, the only blemish on “Ares’s” record continues to irk him.
“(I wanted to fight) Carlos Condit, but he’s busy right now. He’s got a fight coming up, so I have to work my way up to that level (with someone else),” shared MacDonald.
“But then the UFC approached me about the fight with BJ. It sparked my interest, so I figured, ‘Why not?'”
While Penn, who has not fought since his loss to Nick Diaz in October 2011, is looking to avenge his losses to George St. Pierre by beating Tristar’s other poster boy, MacDonald, “Ares” is looking to earn his shot at the only man to ever beat him with a victory over the “Prodigy.”
The two are set to square off September 22 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre as the co-main event, opposite the Junior dos Santos-Cain Velasquez rematch for the UFC’s Heavyweight title.