Rory MacDonald got his wish of facing future Hall of Famer and former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight and Lightweight champion B.J. Penn before he draws the curtain on his legendary career.
The two will go toe-to-toe at UFC 152 on Sept., 22, 2012, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, in a battle of past vs. future, old vs. new as "The Prodigy" looks to end his storied mixed martial arts (MMA) career on a high note by taking out one of the brightest talents in the UFC's 170-pound division. It will be easier said than done as "Ares" has proven that he does have what it takes to be a future champion in the promotion, be it at welterweight or middleweight.
The young Canadian issued a respectful call out of Penn of Penn on "The MMA Hour" a few weeks ago; however, according to MacDonald, he only did so after it was brought to his attention by the promotion that the scrappy Hawaiian wanted a piece of him for his coming out of retirement fight.
The bout was set to be the co-main event for UFC 152 as a Heavyweight title fight between division kingpin Junior dos Santos defending against Cain Velasquez was to receive top billing. However, UFC president Dana White recently revealed that the colossal rematch may not go down at the event as planned.
And MacDonald, for one, would welcome the chance to headline his first-ever UFC event in the region.
Speaking to MMACanada.net, Rory explains his call out and says that he doesn't care of the reasons "Baby J" wants to face him, he will be at his best and put on a great show.
Check it out:
"UFC brought it up to me that he's coming out of retirement that he wanted to fight me, so I was a little bit shocked and surprised but I was excited. I took it to the next step and made it a public challenge. I did it respectfully because I do respect B.J. and I've looked up to him as a fighter, but this is a business and I want to fight him before he is done. Like I said, he wanted to fight me in the first place. I think he said he wanted to get some kind of revenge on Tri-Star or something like that, I don't know. I don't care about his reasoning, but I'm glad he wanted to fight me."
When asked of the possibility of his fight with Penn being the headliner, MacDonald said he is more than ready to take on the responsibility and says he is going to be at his best come fight night:
"No extra pressure. I feel that I'm ready actually. My last fight was a co-main event. I understand the obligations that come along with it and I feel like the stars are aligned for it. B.J. is a legend, I am an exciting young fighter here in Canada. It's in Toronto, I fought here before, I have a good amount of fans here and I think we can put on a great show. I don't know what I have over him but I think it's a great fight for me. I'm comfortable in all areas. I am going to be in great shape and we will see what happens, that's the reason were fighting, to see who is better. He is dangerous everywhere. I am just going to be at my best and fight my fight."
When asked if he would consider changing weight classes in order to secure a title shot and to avoid having to face friend and training partner Georges St. Pierre, who currently reigns supreme in the 170-pound weight class, Rory had this to say:
"I will be champion one day in this division. He's (GSP) got to fight Carlos, so we will see what happens there. If he wins or loses we will adjust. I just got make my decisions when I'm there. I don't look to far forward. Eventually I will move up. I'm staying at welterweight for right now. I'm still not at my prime or my peak. So we will see what happens when I'm 25-26."
No word yet if MacDonald vs. Penn will indeed headline UFC 152, or if the promotion will bring in other two big guns to headline the card.
Unless, of course, "The Prodigy" and "Ares" have enough star power to headline the event on thier own.