B.J. Penn may be stepping out of retirement for a bout against Rory MacDonald at UFC 152 in Toronto, Canada (in MacDonald’s backyard no less), but it doesn’t mean that the Prodigies return will stick afterwords. For Penn it’s about two things; letting Tri-Star know that their star pupil Georges St-Pierre’s dismantling of him was a fluke, and to finish out his contract obligation with the UFC. Via Just Scrap Radio:
My last fight against Tri-Star didn’t go so well, so I would love to take another crack at Tri-Star to show them. But you know what, the past is the past. There is nothing for me to really talk about on that end that is definitely left in the past. But, yeah, it would be nice to let them know that fight was a fluke and that the fight is not going to go down the same way. Rory is not just going to walk in there and take me out and beat me up for four rounds straight and put me away. I really believe the fight is going to go different and I think they are going to realize that when we start fighting. This isn’t the same guy that they fought that night and its going to be a whole different thing. But, there is no bad blood. I see Firaz all the time, I see Georges. Everything is in the past, but I’d like to get up there and show Tri-Star gym and their fans, or whatever, that I am a worthy opponent and that I am not just a guy that is going to walk in the ring and somebody is just going to walk across and crush me, that is not going to be the story.”
Penn is quick to give respect to the young up-and-comer, but still feels that he is highly motivated, and will be a great test to go out on.
Rory is very good, he is still young but I think he has been in the game so long and he’s got a lot of miles on him, I think, not miles to where he is worn down or anything, I Just think he’s got a lot of experience for being so young. He has been at a high level for a couple of years now and he is a great test. I was actually watching a video of his yesterday and he was saying, “I am 22 and at 24 I am going to be a world champion.” So he is very good, he has got a lot of confidence, I am sure his team has a lot of confidence in him, also, so I think that this is definitely a great challenge and a great test. So with that said, I like everything, I am definitely motivated for this fight, I like everything that’s going on with this fight. Rory is one of the best guys, Firaz and everyone says he is going to be the champion in two years. I’m not thinking about any kind of title runs. I’m just coming back and doing this fight and I am pretty sure this is the last fight on my contract, I will have to go back and check again, but I think this is the last fight on my contract and I would like to finish out my contract, so.”
With the UFC in talks of a upcoming Hawaii event, Penn was asked if he could be enticed to return to the cage for a fight in his home state. Unfortunately the answer does not sound like a resounding yes.
I am going to go to the belly of the beast, I just want to over there and take care of this. I am going to go to the belly of the beast and see a fire breathing dragon and take out my sword.”