B.J. Penn came back from retirement to face Rory MacDonald, widely considered a future champion in MMA circles. That may not have been the best decision, as it was MacDonald who continued his meteoric rise after defeating Penn at UFC on Fox 5.
Penn retired 13 months ago, and had been pretty lax in his training regiment for the fight, initially scheduled for UFC 152. But MacDonald had to pull out of that event, and while in training for the new December date, he sent out the following tweet that really added some fuel to this fight's fire:
That spanwed a back and forth on Twitter which included MacDonald taking shots at Penn's weight, Penn rededicated himself to his training, folks got even more pumped up for the fight and Penn came out lean and mean. Isn't fighting fun?
Unfortunately for Penn, motivation alone wasn't enough to defeat MacDonald.
A win for Penn may have restored some luster to his once-promising career. Penn was once considered one of the finest fighters in the world, but he's now won just once in his past six fights, with five losses.
Penn may not be a pushover, but he's no longer an elite fighter. At the age of 33 (and a few days away from turning 34), he can be forgiven for that fact.
Meanwhile, MacDonald proved he can go toe to toe with any opponent, even an old star. In a way, this fight was a handing over of the torch—one of MMA's declining stars making way for one of the sport's brightest young talents.
MacDonald now improves to 14-1, with a 2010 TKO at the hands (and elbows) of Carlos Condit remaining the only blemish on his record. Penn drops to 16-9-2 for his career.
Hit me up on Twitter—my tweets fear no men. Except MMA fighters. And boxers. And lots of other tough folks. Okay, okay, my tweets fear quite a few men. Whatever.