Oh, Canada. Our northern neighbors received some great news on Friday night. Shortly after announcing Junior dos Santos vs. Cain Velasquez II would headline UFC 152 in Toronto, company president Dana White confirmed the welterweight shootout between BJ Penn (Pictured) and Rory MacDonald would co-headline the September 22nd show.
Earlier this week, MacDonald respectfully called for a shot at the former multi-divisional UFC champion while appearing as a guest on on The MMA Hour.
“Right now I feel there’s a guy that I want to fight before he leaves the sport and that’s BJ Penn,” he said. “That’s a guy I really want to fight. I respect him a lot. He’s a legend and I think it’d be a really good matchup for me to have that fight in Toronto.”
One day later, Penn decided to cut his retirement short and accept the up-and-comer’s challenge.
Penn abruptly called it quits after dropping a convincing unanimous decision loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 in October. The Hawaiian holds a 16-8-2 professional mark and is the only fighter in UFC history to don the welterweight and lightweight titles.
MacDonald owns a practically perfect 13-1 record. “Ares’” lone blemish come against now-current interim welterweight champ Carlos Condit at UFC 115.
Air Canada Centre in Toronto is expected to host the star-studded affair.