Three questions still remain today about BJ Penn’s next fight – Who, where and when?
His most likely opponent still remains Rory MacDonald who he was originally supposed to fight at UFC 152 next month before the young fighter suffered a bad cut in training.
So far the two fighters can’t agree on a suitable date to postpone the fight until though, with Penn’s demand that MacDonald delay the fight only a few weeks until UFC 153 in Rio being dismissed by his opponent.
“What I don’t get about him is how he can come off telling me what’s fair and what’s not when he doesn’t know the situation,” MacDonald said on The MMA Hour yesterday. “He wasn’t there, he didn’t talk to my doctors, he didn’t see it, so he makes this statement online to get all his followers excited.”
According to MacDonald’s manager Firas Zahabi it’s just not possible for his fighter to agree to Penn’s request due to his injury.
“This is a massive cut, it went internal, all the way to the bone,” Zahabi tells FightersOnly. “So you could see the bone of his skull after he got cut. That’s why there’s so many stitches – 38 over three layers, that’s why he can’t even have any contact at all for one month. Can’t even drill. And after a month he can start technical movements – armlocks and toeholds on the ground, wrestling manoeuvres. But he can’t get punched. It will be another month a half before we put a headgear on him.”
It may be that with all the facts out in the open that Penn does agree to delay the bout until UFC 154 in November as MacDonald originally requested, but in the mean time a number of other fighters have been campaigning for their chance to fight ‘The Prodigy’ instead.
Amongst them was Siyar Bahadurzada who KO’d Paulo Thiago in his UFC debut recently. He said he’d go as far as to donate his entire purse to charity if he was given the chance to fight the former lightweight and welterweight champion, but Penn has made it clear he’s not interested in that fight.
Sean Sherk’s also called for a rematch, while Jon Fitch has gone as far as too brand Penn as “a coward” for not agreeing to a rematch with him following their majority draw decision last year.
So far Penn hasn’t stated what he intends to do, but MacDonald has insisted that despite the hold-up he’s still ready to make this fight happen before the end of the year.
“Fight who you want to fight, it’s up to BJ at this point. But, I’m ready to fight. If he wants to hold off a couple months or whatever I’ll be there, I’ll be more than willing to make this happen.”