UFC 152 is now taking form with some big names on the roster. Headlining the event will be JDS vs Velasquez II , and now in the co-headline, BJ Penn returns from retirement to take on rising star Rory MacDonald. The bout has sprouted from a call out from MacDonald of Penn earlier this week, saying “it would be a blessing to fight the legend before he retires for good.”
This proved to be the nudge that Penn needed to come out from his self imposed retirement after the loss to Nick Diaz. Penn says he sees it as a way to show the Tri-Star camp that he’s not the fighter that was dominated by their team captain, Georges St-Pierre. It’s a way to prove to himself, to his fans, and to his detractors that he is still one of the best. Also, it has been stated that he does not view this as a way to get back into title contention, and believes he is just fulfilling the last fight on his current contract.
It’s not known if Dana will try to coax him into signing another contract, but this could very well be his last fight in the octagon. It’s a better ending than his sudden rush to quit the fight game earlier this year. With a growing family, his own gym, a UFC branded gym, and a dying fire to compete, it may be time to walk away from the sport. His ties to the sport will always remain, and better to walk out on your own terms than to be forced out.