It appears Rory MacDonald will get his wish.
UFC President Dana White confirmed Friday that the promotion is working to book a welterweight contest between the Canadian prospect and former two-division champion B.J. Penn for UFC 152 in Toronto.
Earlier this week, MacDonald publicly revealed his desire to fight Penn, and the Hawaiian quickly accepted the challenge. However, there had been no official word from the UFC regarding the potential bout until today. White said the fight could fill the co-main event slot at UFC 152, which is expected to take place Sept. 22 at Toronto’s Air Canada Centre.
Just 22 years old, MacDonald is regarded by most as one of the welterweight division’s most promising up-and-comers. “Ares” has been beaten just once as a professional, suffering a 2010 defeat to future interim titleholder Carlos Condit at UFC 115. MacDonald has compiled a trio of victories since the loss, dominating Nate Diaz and Mike Pyle last year before taking out Che Mills six weeks ago at UFC 145.
Meanwhile, Penn will return to the cage after announcing his retirement last October. “The Prodigy” was battered by ex-Strikeforce champion Nick Diaz at UFC 137 and stated his intention to leave active competition in his post-fight interview. The 33-year-old has won just once in his last five outings, posting a 1-1-3 record against a formidable list of opponents comprised of Frankie Edgar, Matt Hughes, Jon Fitch and Diaz.