It has been a little over seven months since "The Prodigy" announced his retirement from MMA. Now, the former two-division champion and MMA legend makes his return to face 22-year-old welterweight star Rory MacDonald.
"My last fight against Tri-Star [loss to Georges St-Pierre] didn't go so well," Penn said in an appearance on Just Scrap Radio. "I would love to take another crack at Tri-Star to show them."
There is no bad blood, but I'd like to get up there and show Tri-Star Gym and their fans, or whatever, that I am a worthy opponent and that I am not just a guy that is going to walk in the ring and somebody is just going to walk across and crush me.
Penn, who is 3-4-1 in his last eight fights, certainly has his work cut out for him against MacDonald, a protege of welterweight champ St-Pierre.
MacDonald is riding a three-fight win streak, including dominant victories over Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle and Che Mills. He openly challenged Penn to a bout during an interview with Ariel Helwani 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. 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.
Penn was just settling into a life of retirement, but at only 33 years of age, it's tough to say goodbye when you still have much to offer the sport.
People will always question Penn's motivation and work ethic, but he still possesses world-class abilities in every area of fighting.
Has the young Tri-Star student bitten off more than he can chew?
"I am going to the belly of the beast," said Penn. "I just want to go over there and take care of this. I am going to go to the belly of the beast and see a fire-breathing dragon and take out my sword."