Just nine months after BJ Penn (16-8-2) announced his MMA retirement, he was lured out for what he considers his dream fight against Rory MacDonald (13-1).
“Everyone’s like this is a dream fight for Rory as he can get motivated, but what they’re going to find out soon is this is my dream fight going up there and beating him in Toronto, in his hometown, in front of everybody,” said Penn in an interview at MMAWeekly.com. “So there going to realize that pretty quick.”
The fight is the first time Penn has fought in Canada and he admitted he hesitated about the location. He rather would have fought in Las Vegas, since it’s closer to his native town of Hawaii.
“I’m excited to fight in Toranto,” said Penn. “I’ve been there a couple of times. I didn’t honestly like the idea at first. I thought it was pretty far. I like the idea of going and fighting over there, but it is far for me. It’s a 10 hour flight at least and six hour time difference. All that will play a role. The more I thought about it, I was like ‘perfect’ couldn’t be a better place to get this done.”
The fight will mark Penn’s return to MMA after he announced his retirement after a loss at UFC 137. McDonald is currently on a three fight win streak.
“I think taking time off did good to heal my insides,” said Penn. “It gave me more drive [and] motivation. I just tried to take care of everything the best I could without taking anything illegal or any of these controversial remedies to fix getting older. It’s a constant day-to-day training to improve. I’m very happy and my body’s very healthy.”
Penn vs. McDonald is scheduled for UFC 152 on September 22.