BJ Penn: "100-Percent Fact Rory Pulled out Because He Knew He Would Lose"
BJ Penn isn't buying Rory MacDonald's excuses for pulling out of their scheduled UFC 152 bout.
At the post-fight press conference for UFC on FOX 4, UFC President Dana White informed the media that MacDonald pulled out of his fight with Penn after suffering a huge cut on his forehead during training.
Reporters on-hand were stunned when White broke the news.
"Rory's out. He got cut open today, wide open, 38 or 48 stitches, something like that. No contact for a month," said White.
None were more disappointed than Penn, who came out of retirement specifically for a shot at the rising welterweight star.
Despite reports of a cut, Penn told Sherdog.com he believes MacDonald's reasoning for pulling out of the fight runs much deeper. He sees it as a case of MacDonald biting off more than he can chew and not preparing properly in camp:
I know the reason why Rory pulled out on September 22. The cut is a detail, but I know the reason why he pulled out is because he knew he wasn't going to win. If he let the cut heal, tried to train, whatever it was, brother he should have been in shape already by the time he came in.
For sure now, 10 weeks—10 weeks, I never heard of a guy pulling out of a fight 10 weeks from a cut. Never in my life have I heard of a guy, 10 weeks before a fight he got cut and he pulled out.
Penn went through a similar experience leading up to his fight with Nick Diaz in October 2011.
During training, he suffered a laceration over his eye, but he still made the decision to continue training and take the fight. He sees MacDonald as having the same obligations to go out and compete for the fans.
There certainly was plenty of time for MacDonald to heal up for the fight, but his inability to spar would've seriously hurt his training. Is Penn right? Should MacDonald have already been in shape and ready to go?
[Rory] feels he has to do what's best for him, his team, they're going to do that, but it's a 100-percent fact the reason why they pulled out is because they knew they were going to lose on September 22. If not, you wouldn't pull out.
Like I said, I had a cut on my eye, 13 stitches inside it and out five weeks before the Diaz fight. I didn't care. For eight weeks, it opened up every single week, all the way to the fifth week before the Diaz fight, but did I ever think about pulling out? Not even once. Why? Because I owe it to the fans, I owe it to the UFC, I even owe it to Nick Diaz to show up to the fight.
The bout between Penn and MacDonald has been rescheduled for UFC on FOX 5. The extra time should only serve to fuel the growing beef between the welterweight stars.
On December 8, MacDonald will get his opportunity to prove Penn wrong.
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