When former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight and lightweight champion B.J. Penn retired after his UFC 137 loss to Nick Diaz, it wasn't long before fans began to clamor for "The Prodigy's" return.
After turning down a fight against Josh Koscheck and saying "no" to a showdown against Strikeforce 155-pound champion Gilbert Melendez, Penn decided to cut his vacation time short by accepting a challenge from fast-rising 170-pound contender, Rory MacDonald.
Scheduled to meet at the stacked UFC on Fox 5 event in Seattle, Washington on Dec. 8, 2012, Penn will find himself in the Octagon against a very familiar style of fighting as "Ares" has been compared to his training partner and current UFC welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre.
That's according to UFC President Dana White, who made a pit stop at ESPN headquarters in Bristol, Connecticut yesterday (Nov. 15, 2012) on his way to Montreal, Quebec, Canada for the UFC 154 festivities to partake in a SportsNation chat with fans across the globe.
Though MacDonald is the younger fighter, White believes he will be in for a 'test' against a true veteran of the sport in Penn:
"It's an interesting fight, because they say that this kid is exactly like GSP, fights like him and everything else and we saw how the GSP fight with BJ Penn went. I think he'll test this kid."
"Rush" outlasted the scrappy Hawaiian at UFC 58 back in 2006, edging out a split decision victory in their first meeting. At UFC 94, St. Pierre proved to be the more conditioned fighter as he took Penn to deep waters, forcing "The Prodigy's" corner to throw in the towel before the start of the final round.
With Georges in MacDonald's ear, you can bet he'll be spilling as many beans as possible that may give the fast-rising prospect any advantages over the grizzled veteran -- even though Rory didn't' do the same for St. Pierre for his bout this weekend (Nov. 17, 2012) at UFC 154 against Carlos Condit.
How about it Maniacs, will Penn be a stiff test for the much younger and stronger fighter? Or will MacDonald send "Baby J" right back into retirement?