Saturday Night: BJ Penn vs Rory Macdonald

BJ Penn and Caol Uno. The two fought on two occasions, one KO victory for Penn and a title fight draw.

BJ Penn has always been someone looking for a challenge. After failing to get the lightweight title on two occasions, he went up in weight to fight Matt Hughes for the welterweight championship. Hughes at the time was considered probably the strongest pound for pound fighter in the world. Before the end of the first round, Penn had tapped Hughes out.

This is the same Penn, despite being best at lightweight that would go up in weight to have rivalries with welterweights like GSP and Hughes, even going all the way up in weight to give Lyoto Machida a tough match up. Penn, whether you’re a fan or not, is someone always attempting to reach for greatness.

Rory Macdonald first came to the UFC for a fight with Mike Guymon in January 2010, but it was his second fight where everyone took notice. He fought with former WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit and turned it into a competitive affair at UFC 115 (June 2010). A lot of people felt Macdonald was winning the fight, but the final 90 seconds of the third round had Condit pounding him violently on the ground until the referee stopped it with seven seconds left. Macdonald redeemed himself, almost a year later at UFC 129 (April 2011). He decisively beat Nathan Diaz inside the UFC, ragdolling him at times. He would go on to beat veteran Mike Pyle later in 2011 and “solid killer” (as Joe Rogan referred to him) Che Mills in 2012.

At the very least, you have to give Penn the benefit of the doubt for the first round. Penn was able to win the first round against both Nick Diaz and Jon Fitch last year. If Mike Pyle can take Macdonald down, I don’t see why Penn can’t either. As soon as we enter the second round, things could get very interesting. I think Macdonald is a hell of a fighter, and has all the potential in the world. But, maybe I’m naive here or buying into the Penn hype of him being hungry and in great shape, but I see Penn taking this. I think Penn has better boxing, he’s always had good takedown defense and we all know how good his BJJ is. It’s not going to be easy for either guy, but it will be a competitive fight and I think Penn wins via decision.

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