Things between Rory MacDonald have been relatively quiet over the past two months or so as both men have focused on training in preparation for their fight on the main card of UFC on Fox 5: Henderson vs. Diaz that will take place this Saturday night in Seattle, WA.
When the match-up was first announced the war of words centered around everything from Penn’s physical shape to the rumors of PED use by MacDonald and other members of the Tri-Star Gym. For the most part cooler heads have prevailed and we’ve seen BJ work extremely hard to get into what many are considering to the be the best shape of his life. The two UFC stars have also undergone stringent drug testing that has been overseen by VADA which should put any rumors of cheating to bed.
Penn knows how to sell a fight with the best of them and the 23-year-old MacDonald has definitely held his own. Fans all over the world are really anticipating this fight just as much, if not more than any other fight on the card. Today the UFC held their customary pre-fight press conference which was run by UFC President White and attended by Penn, Macdonald, Mike Swick, Matt Brown, Mauricio “Shogun” Rua, Alexander Gustafsson, Nate Diaz and UFC Lightweight Champion Benson Henderson.
It didn’t take long for BJ to throw some fuel on the fire after being asked to respond to some comments MacDonald had made a few months back about BJ being old and how he took the fight because he wants to hurt Penn. Here is what Penn had to say in response:
“Rory said he took this fight because he really wants to hurt me,” said the former UFC Lightweight and Welterweight Champion. “He said I’m probably going to die in the ring and he better be ready to back up everything he said.”
Those comments drew a lot of cheers from those in attendance and things only got more intense from there. As Rory sat stone faced, looking straight ahead, Penn was quizzed on whether or not he felt disrespected by MacDonald.
“I don’t know if I feel disrespected, but if you want to say stuff like that you better back it up tomorrow,” Penn said.
Not to be outdone, Rory grabbed the microphone and looked across the table at Penn and had this to say.
“I’m ready, you don’t have to worry about that,” said MacDonald. “How I came up with the (dying) in the Octagon thing, he (Penn) said that he was fighting to get his legacy back. I don’t know if it’s true or not or if that’s his motivation for taking this fight or not, but if that’s true and your fighting for someone’s opinion or status it’s the wrong reason to fight. His motivation might be something else altogether, but if that is his motivation it’s gonna get him hurt.”
Penn fired right back with a comment that was simple and got straight to the point.
“Like I said, be ready to back it up Rory,” offered Penn. When asked for his response, Penn simply said I just made my response which drew another round of cheers along with some laughter from members of the media.
Tune in on Saturday at 8pm eastern on Fox to see who gets their hand raised.Tags: Alexander Gustafsson, Ben Henderson, bjpenn.com. bj penn, Dana White, featured, Matt brown, Mauricio shogun rua, Mike Swick, MMA NEWS, nate diaz, Rory MacDonald, tri-star, ufc news, ufc on fox 5