BJ Penn recently announced he was coming out of retirement and would return at UFC 152 against Rory MacDonald.
Then, UFC President Dana White announced after UFC on FOX 4 that MacDonald had suffered a cut and the fight was off the UFC 152 card. Penn was upset that the fight would not be happening in September and was hoping for the fight to happen at UFC 153 in October.
It has now been announced that this bout will take place on December 8th at UFC on FOX 5 and Penn recently talked about the situation with Sherdog. During the interview, Penn stated that MacDonald pulled out of the UFC 152 bout because he knew that he was going to lose to the former champion.
“I know the reason why Rory pulled out on September 22nd,” Penn said. “The cut is a detail but I know the reason why he pulled out is because he knew he wasn’t gonna win. If he let that cut heal, tried to train, whatever it was, whether he should have been in shape already by the time you come in. I’ve never heard of a guy pulling out of a fight 10 weeks early from a cut. Never in my life have I heard of a guy, 10 weeks before a fight, he got cut, he pulled out. You know what I mean? He feels he has to to what’s best for him, his team, they’re gonna do that but it’s 100 percent fact that the reason why they pulled out is because they knew they were gonna lose on September 22nd. If not, you wouldn’t pull out, you would go.”
Penn went on to talk about a cut he suffered before his fight last year against Nick Diaz at UFC 137. During is preparation for Diaz, he suffered a cut five weeks before the fight and never thought pulling out of the fight.
“I had a cut on my eye, stitches inside and out,” he said. “13 stitches inside and out five weeks before the Diaz fight. I didn’t care. Opened up from eight weeks, opened every single week all the way up to the fifth week before the Diaz fight but did I ever think about pulling out? Not even once. Why? Because I owe it to the fans, I owe it to the UFC and I even owe to to Nick Diaz to show up to the fight. If you are going to tell the guy you are going to go to the fight, go to the fight.”
Penn may not agree with the actions taken by MacDonald, but it was the right thing to do. It would not be smart to only have essentially two weeks of sparring to take on a fighter like Penn.