Former UFC champion BJ Penn will make his return to the Octagon next month when he takes on Rory MacDonald at UFC on Fox: Henderson vs. Diaz. For Penn, getting back inside the Octagon was something that developed after he announced his retirement.
“I got the itch to fight again,” said Penn, during a conference call on Tuesday. “I realized I can’t do this forever and I wanted to make the most of it while I can.”
Penn made his retirement following a loss to Nick Diaz in 2011. He seemed content to enjoy the beaches of Hawaii until the opportunity came about to face MacDonald, a rising prospect from the Tristar Gym in Canada.
“(MacDonald) is a great opponent, an up-and-comer, one of the top guys,” Penn said. “Everybody says he will be champion soon. It wasn’t a tough decision to fight him.”
Penn reiterated past comments about wanting another chance to face a Tristar fighter after falling to Georges St-Pierre twice in his career. Also, “The Prodigy” gave thanks to MacDonald for comments he made regarding Penn.
“When Rory pulled out (the two were set to meet earlier this year), he said he would end up killing me in the ring,” Penn said. “That really lit a fire under my butt. I got my body fat down under 10-percent and I’m expecting the best BJ Penn I’ve ever seen.”