Rory MacDonald looked up to former UFC champion BJ Penn for several years. Now, the rising prospect will get the chance to test himself against Penn when the two collide at UFC 152: Benavidez vs. Johnson on September 22.
While Penn was absent from a pre-fight press conference on Tuesday, MacDonald took the chance to discuss how he feels heading into the bout.
“To fight a guy like BJ is an honor,” MacDonald said. “I looked up to him. I have come to a point in my career where I don’t look up to anybody in this sport anymore. I respect him, but I am here to beat him.”
MacDonald, just 23 years old, has an impressive 13-1 record on his resume. He has won three consecutive fights since a loss to Carlos Condit in 2010. He is also a frequent training partner of UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.