Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight Rory MacDonald was set to take on mixed martial arts (MMA) legend B.J. Penn, in what appeared to be a retirement fight for "The Prodigy." It was a fight they both wanted, both asked for, and there was a lot of trash talk fueling the flames of what looked to be a very exciting match up.
Then it happened.
During a routine sparring session, just a little more than a month out from his UFC 152 bout, MacDonald was cut by an elbow from a teammate who was throwing an ill-advised spinning backfist.
The frowned upon technique ended up cutting MacDonald wide open, and required doctors to seal up with a whopping 38 stitches. It also caused MacDonald to pull out of the fight.
Rory MacDonald vs. B.J. Penn has since been re-scheduled to take place at UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle, Wa., on Dec. 8, 2012. In two weeks, MacDonald told FUEL TV's "UFC Tonight" that he's going to start training again, and this time, he's going to do it his way:
"It's been tough [waiting for my injury to heal]. I'm ready to fight right away. I'm not one to sit on the sidelines. But it seems like I can't stop getting injured in training. I'm going to make changes in how I prepare for fights and to do things my way from now on. It's going to let me fight a lot more. I'm going to take fights on shorter notice. I'm learning from the older guys and see how they prepare for fights, like the two months of training camp. I'm tired of that. I'll fight more often."
MacDonald didn't go into detail regarding what he meant by "do things my way," but whatever that means, it's something he'll have an opportunity to put into practice very soon:
"I'm feeling a lot better now. I'm able to do technique, hit pads and do conditioning. That brings up my spirits, rather than sitting on my ass. I'm putting what happened behind me and starting camp in two weeks."
"Ares" stated that he has no plans to leave Tristar Gym in Montreal, Quebec, the place he's called home since after his loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 115 in Vancouver, British Columbia on June 12, 2010, but he re-iterated that he has every intention of starting to approach his training a little differently:
"I'll still be training at Tristar. But I have to do things my way. At the end of the day, I'm the one getting in the cage and taking the risk and I'm the one making the final call."
Finally, MacDonald addressed the topic of drug testing for his upcoming fight. Originally, the plan was for both MacDonald and Penn to submit themselves to strict Voluntary Anti-Doping Association (VADA) drug testing.
Though the fight was moved to a new date and event, Rory believes that will still be the plan:
"Sure, it starts eight weeks out. You'll have to ask my manager more about it."