UFC on Fox 5: BJ Penn vs. Rory MacDonald
The narrative everyone is preaching heading into the BJ Penn – Rory MacDonald fight is that it is a “past versus present” fight. If you ask Penn however he will tell you that he believes that this is a present versus present fight. That is what Penn wants to tell us with a win against MacDonald anyway.
The odds are not with Penn, however, as he is going to have to win against some pretty substantial odds.
The money line for Penn is at +230 against McDonald’s -300.
It is going to take a lot more from Penn than to be motivated by being made fun on the internet for being fat. That was enough to motivate him to get into good shape for this fight. Now Penn is going to have to prove he is not going to be forced back into retirement.
Penn does seem more motivated than ever before, however. In a media conference for the fight Penn gave us an exclusive look into his mindset heading into this fight. He also showed us just how much this fight means to him.
I watch all these interviews and all these people talking, and no one says my name when they talk about the greatest fighters any more, and I really don’t like that. It really bothers me, and I know it’s my fault. I know I’m the reason why people don’t talk about me when they talk about GSP or Anderson Silva.
My name was always in the mix. It’s never in the mix any more, and I told Dana I’ve got a big problem with that, and that was actually part of my motivation to come back strong and do a good fight on December 8. Everything is current, and I don’t want to be known as, ‘Oh, he was good back in the day.’ I want to be known as the best.”
Being motivated may not be enough, though, when you are simply not the fighter you once were or are facing someone who simply better than you are.
MacDonald is a young gun who is determined to just be a fighter. He is not concerned with titles or being considered a legend. He just wants to go out there and win as much as possible. I’ll allow MacDonald to explain it in his own words:
I’m not trying to be a legend or make a name for myself at this moment in time. I enjoy fighting and I think this is a great fight. I think B.J. is a great fighter and I have a lot of respect for him. Fighting a guy as talented as him really excites me. I’m really not in this sport for status. I just like to fight.
MacDonald is a very versatile fighter who can beat you in a number of ways. Penn is going to have to really step up to upset this young up and comer.