After originally being scheduled to fight at UFC 152 next month, BJ Penn Vs Rory MacDonald has now been shifted back to UFC On FOX 5 in December due to MacDonald suffering a severe cut in training that left him with 38 stitches.
While the cut certainly seems to be genuine, in a new interview Penn claims that the real reason behind MacDonald’s request to have the fight delayed was that he’s running scared from fighting the former lightweight and welterweight champion.
“I know the reason why Rory pulled out on September 22nd,” Penn confidently claims in an interview with Sherdog.com. “The cut is a detail but I know the reason why he pulled out is because he knew he wasn’t gonna win. If he let that cut heal, tried to train, whatever it was, whether he should have been in shape already… I’ve never heard of a guy pulling out of a fight 10 weeks early from a cut. Never in my life have I heard of a guy, 10 weeks before a fight, he got cut, he pulled out. You know what I mean? He feels he has to to what’s best for him, for his team, they’re gonna do that, but it’s 100 percent fact that the reason why they pulled out is because they knew they were gonna lose on September 22nd. If not, you wouldn’t pull out, you would go.
“I had a cut on my eye, 13 stitches inside and out five weeks before the Diaz fight. Didn’t care. Opened up from eight weeks every week all the way up to the fifth week before the Diaz fight but did I ever think about pulling out? Not even once.”
It’s a bold claim from Penn, but I don’t think it’s an accurate one. Let’s not forget that it was MacDonald who asked to fight Penn in the first place.
At worst it’s just a case of MacDonald and his camp being overly-cautious, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing when your aiming to have a long and successful career in an unforgiving sport like MMA.
Watch Penn’s full interview below.