UFC 152: Why It Doesn't Make Sense for BJ Penn to Face Rory MacDonald
It didn't take long for BJ Penn to make a decision on his future, but it could have required a little more thought from the Hawaiian as he agreed to face one of the welterweight division's top prospects in Rory MacDonald.
Penn has announced via his website, BJPenn.com, that he will accept MacDonald's challenge at UFC 152, to be held in Toronto on September 22.
The decision comes after Penn had declined offers from UFC president Dana White and Josh Koscheck, but it appears MacDonald has motivated "The Prodigy" enough so to come out of retirement for one last run at welterweight.
However, Penn has not fared well at 170 pounds, owning a 4-3-1 record, and he is relatively undersized against most of the division's elite wrestlers. According to Fightmetric.com, Penn has been taken down 13 times while competing as a welterweight.
MacDonald possesses some of the best ground-and pound and top control at 170 pounds, boasting a 61-percent takedown accuracy and landing an average of 4.61 takedowns per 15 minutes. Add to this the fact that MacDonald is a frequent training partner of Georges St-Pierre, who has defeated Penn on two occasions, and this matchup does not bode well for the former lightweight kingpin.
Most of Penn's success has come at 155 pounds, but after two failed attempts against Frankie Edgar, he decided to venture back up to welterweight.
Luckily, the Hawaiian still has a name in the sport and can still generate a lot of money for the company, but constantly testing his skills at a heavier weight class will not allow him to be very successful, let alone capture a UFC title.
He would have had an easier fight against Koscheck and it would have been a credible name for Penn to build off, but facing an elite-level wrestler in MacDonald is a stylistic nightmare, and Penn should re-consider his options while he still has some time.
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