Rory MacDonald has fought some of the biggest and best names in MMA.
“The Red King” initially rose to prominence in the UFC welterweight division often touted as the heir to Georges St-Pierre as the two trained together at TriStar in Montreal. MacDonald started off his career with a strong 13-1 record but it wasn’t until his 14th victory that many believed he was ready for the upper-echelon of the weight class.
“BJ [Penn] was one of the fighters I really looked up to as a kid and growing up watching MMA — learning from him and a lot of guys from that generation,” told Combat Culture. “When I got the opportunity to fight him, I was really excited. We had actually been scheduled to fight and I got a really bad cut in training so we had to postpone the fight. It still ended up working out and it was a great fight. I was able to pretty much be on offense the entire fight. He was one tough guy. He wouldn’t go down.
“I had a really good warm-up and I was solid mentally. I wanted to go in there and get in a hard fight. I was pretty focused on just taking out whoever stood in front of me.”
The unanimous decision win over BJ Penn in 2012 for Rory MacDonald was the first of two fights on that UFC on Fox card that felt like “changing of the guard” bouts. The other being Alexander Gustafsson’s defeat of Mauricio “Shogun” Rua.
The Penn win helped catapult MacDonald to superstardom and the top of the division as he would go 4-3 afterward before exiting to Bellator. Enjoying a title run with the promotion, MacDonald then took his talent to the PFL where he currently gets ready to compete against Ray Cooper III on Friday.