To come out of retirement, Penn specifically asked the UFC to face MacDonald at welterweight, and from everything leading up to the fight, it looked like the Hawaiian was back to form.
Penn brought in an All-Star group of training partners, cut down his body fat, and promised great cardio come fight night. None of it mattered because Rory MacDonald had other plans.
The young Canadian, who has been called a future champion by just about everyone this side of Georges St-Pierre, did not disappoint with his performance in his biggest fight to date.
MacDonald punished Penn to the body with nasty punches and kicks, especially in the second round when he trapped the former champion against the cage and absolutely unloaded with rib shattering shot after shot. Penn could only stand there and take the punches, as referee Herb Dean stepped in close to stopping the bout.
Penn persevered but only to absorb more punishment from MacDonald for the remainder of the fight.
If there was a turning point in the fight it may have been when MacDonald started to taunt and showboat in front of a gassed out Penn, who offered up very little resistance by that stage of the fight. The crowd booed MacDonald in unison, but that didn’t change what was happening inside the Octagon.
When the final horn sounded, MacDonald looked like a lion, and Penn a freshly hunted lamb.
The final scores showcased just how dominant MacDonald was in the fight, but instead of talking about his devastating victory, he only had one thing on his mind – revenge.
“There’s a guy that humiliated me a couple years ago, I want my revenge. Carlos Condit I want a rematch, accept my challenge. Let’s do it in March in my home territory again, and I’m going to get my revenge,” MacDonald said after the fight.
Condit knocked out MacDonald in 2010, viciously finishing the fight with strikes on the ground in the Canadian’s backyard of Vancouver.
Now the only thing MacDonald wants is a shot at revenge against the only man to defeat him in his young MMA career.