The anticipation continues to rise as we approach the December 8th return of “The Prodigy” BJ Penn. Standing opposite of Penn in the UFC octagon on that upcoming December night will be the rising Tri-Star gym standout, Rory “Ares” MacDonald. The fight, which will be featured on the main card of the upcoming UFC on FOX 5 event in Seattle, Washington, will be a battle of old school vs. new school as Penn will be playing the role of the experienced and battle-tested vet looking to tame the young, fiery stallion in MacDonald. Both men knowingly admit that they will have their hands full on the 8th but MacDonald recently had the opportunity to let his feelings toward Penn and the fight be heard on a larger stage as he took questions from the media and fans at the UFC 154 Q&A.
When asked about Penn’s training and his mindset toward this fight MacDonald made it clear that he doesn’t care what kind of BJ Penn steps in to the cage that night because he is going to fight him the same way regardless of how prepared Penn is.
“I don’t really care, I just see a body in front of me to tell you the truth. It doesn’t matter if he’s in shape or not. It’s gonna be best for you guys if he’s in shape, cause it will probably be a better fight,” MacDonald explained.
Rory also spoke about the all around skill-set that he and Penn posses. Although Penn clearly has the experience advantage coming into the fight “Ares” still feels that he has sharper tools than Penn in every position of the fight game. He made it very clear that he is not afraid to fight Penn from anywhere.
“I just think that I’m a better fighter. I’m not really scared to fight him anywhere. He’s obviously very good on the ground, and a good striker; you have to be competent in all areas of mixed martial arts, and I am,” MacDonald said.
He continued by stating, “I feel I’m a better striker, a better wrestler and better on the ground as far as MMA jiu-jitsu. Probably not straight jiu-jitsu because we all know what he’s done there, but I feel in a straight mixed martial arts fight, I’m a little more well rounded than he is.”
Interesting thoughts considering Penn has been in the game much longer than MacDonald and has almost twice as many fights. Still, it seemed the confidence “Ares” displayed during the press UFC 154 Q&A continued to grow as he spoke with the fans and media. He even explained some things about Penn that were “annoying” to him, such as the VADA testing that he and BJ are participating in prior to their fight. When asked about how the testing or even the comments Penn was making affected him MacDonald explained that he doesn’t let those things bother him and could care less about the head games BJ is trying to induce.
“He’s got a lot of excuses that guy. He likes to start (expletive); he likes to get people excited. I don’t really think about it too much. He asked me to do the VADA random testing and I accepted it,” MacDonald explained. “I’ll prove to him that I’m a clean fighter. At the end of the day, he can say whatever he wants to say, get people excited, but I’m still going to beat his ass.”