One of the most legendary competitors in MMA history, former UFC lightweight and welterweight champion B.J. Penn (16-8), will make his return to the octagon to face Canadian rising star Rory MacDonald (13-1).
No set date for this fight has been announced yet, but the rumor is both fighters are eyeing UFC 152 which takes place on September 22, 2012 in Toronto, Canada. Penn last fought in the UFC on October 29th, 2011 at UFC 137 when he lost a unanimous decision to Nick Diaz, and immediately put his career on hiatus.
Anyone who follows MMA knows B.J. Penn combines incredible Jiu-Jitsu (he was the first ever non-Brazilian winner of the World Jiu-Jitsu Championship) with dominant boxing and unparalleled flexibility into as versatile a skillset as we have ever seen in the UFC, and his multitude of weapons have helped him become a legend in the sport. He is one of only two men to win a UFC Title in two different weight classes, the other being Hall of Famer Randy Couture.
If Penn shows up motivated and on shape (he has had well documented conditioning concerns in the past), which he should being that his bout with MacDonald will be his first fight in nearly a year, he will have a chance against the young Canadian in front of his home crowd.
However right now I give the edge to the young Canadian, because MacDonald has wowed audiences with three consecutive wins over very difficult opponents (Che Mills at UFC 145, Mike Pyle at UFC 133, Nate Diaz at UFC 129) and is clearly one of the brightest rising stars in MMA. MacDonald is just 22 years old and already has 13 victories under his belt, while Penn is 33 years old. In my opinion it was a great move by MacDonald to challenge Penn, he is not yet a household name amongst casual MMA fans, but that would change with a victory over the returning B.J. Penn.
Early Pick: This bout is still months away, but I already cannot wait for it, I think MacDonald will win a decision being that he is younger, is presently in fighting shape, and will be motivated in front of his home crowd. MacDonald Wins By Unanimous Decision.
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