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Rory MacDonald: “I’ve come to a point in my career where I don’t look up to anybody in this sport anymore.”

UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald celebrated his 23rd birthday this past weekend yet he carries the professional weight of a man much older. “Ares” eats, sleeps, and breathes training and it has shown in his rise to stardom despite being so young. The Canadian wunderkind has gone 13-1 in his MMA career including a quartet of wins inside the Octagon and is poised to face legend B.J. Penn in two months at UFC 152.

Mature beyond his years, MacDonald was recently asked about taking on an opponent with Penn’s history in the sport and, as respectfully as possible, made it clear it is all business anytime he steps into the Octagon.

“To fight a guy like B.J. is an honor. I’ve watched his fights since I was 14 years old and I have looked up to him. But I’ve come to a point in my career where I don’t look up to anybody in this sport anymore,” said MacDonald during a press conference promoting the September 22 show. “Obviously I still respect him and all that but I’m here to beat him and hurt him.”

For further perspective, Penn was 2-0 in the UFC before MacDonald turned 12. However, the last few years have clearly favored MacDonald with a 4-1 mark in his last five compared to Penn’s 1-3-1.

Check out highlights from the UFC 152 presser below:


  • Rece Rock says:

    I’m a fan of both fighters but I think Rory got this.

  • I would just like to say I find this a waste of a fight for Rory. This kid is BAD and should be fighting Fitch ellenberger kampmann Kos Hendricks etc not a guy comin out of retirement who hasn’t won a fight at 170 in years
    But if Rory gets cocky he COULD find himself looking up at the lights from his back. I doubt it though.

  • Richard Stabone says:

    Even though there are tougher opponents at 170 that probably make more sense from a pure competitive standpoint, a win over BJ Penn will resonate with casual fans more than most other names. Rory is obviously on his way up, but has yet to really *break thru*, so a win over Penn will help in some respects there.

    I just still don’t understand why Penn would come out of retirement to fight this young lion. I think he’s always been comfortable financially, so it can only be for the love of the sport & competition, which has to be respected. I just don’t see how BJ will be able to deal with the younger, stronger fighter.


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