BJ Penn Comes Out Of Retirement To Face Rory MacDonald

Penn accepts MacDonald challenge, plans UFC 152 meeting

B.J. Penn appears to have found the motivation to return to the Octagon.

The former UFC champion and future UFC Hall of Famer was issued a challenge from fast-rising welterweight contender Rory MacDonald on The MMA Hour on Monday. MacDonald stated that he wanted to meet Penn in the cage before the mixed martial arts legend opted for permanent retirement.

Apparently that was all Penn needed to hear to make his way back to the Octagon, as he has agreed to face MacDonald, all signs pointing to a UFC 152 meeting in Toronto.

Using his website to issue the message, Penn simply wrote: “Rory I accept your challenge.”

The UFC has yet to make any formal announcement about the fight.

MacDonald’s challenge comes only a few months after his April technical knockout victory over Che Mills at UFC 145. The victory was his third straight and pushed his UFC record to 4-1.

The lone loss came against Carlos Condit in one of the better comebacks of 2010. MacDonald, ahead with the fight coming to a close, was defeated by technical knockout with just seven seconds left in the fight.

Penn, meanwhile, has not competed in the Octagon since a unanimous decision loss to Nick Diaz at UFC 137 last October.  Following the fight, he announced his intentions to retire from the sport, though he instead decided to merely take some time away from the sport.

UFC 152 is set for September 22 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada at the Air Canada Centre. The welterweight showdown is the first bout to be rumored for the card.