Morning Report: B.J. Penn Comes Out of Retirement, Accepts Duel with Rory MacDonald

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Well, that certainly didn't take long.

Less than 36 hours after Rory MacDonald threw down the gauntlet for B.J. Penn, the Hawaiian tossed aside his vacation gear and issued one blaring message to the UFC welterweight division: "Rory, I accept your challenge!"

Raise your hand if you saw that one coming. Yesterday we talked about how something like this was starting to look inevitable, but seriously, did anybody out there figure it would happen so quickly, or that a 22-year-old, of all people, would be the one to lure Penn back? I guess when you have the itch that badly, you're just waiting for a decent reason to scratch.

So now the man that held belts in two different weight classes is back, and barring some inexplicable UFC interference, he'll take on the division's newest up-and-coming golden boy inside enemy territory at UFC 152. Truthfully, MacDonald has never faced a fighter like Penn, so this could turn out to be a heaping lesson in being careful what you wish for. But then again, who knows? Perhaps the reverse is true as well, and we're about to see another coming out party for the ages.

Either way, I'm sure we'll all be front row and center to find out.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

B.J. Penn ends retirement. Legendary UFC champion B.J. Penn ended his retirement to accept Rory MacDonald's challenge to fight in Toronto, Canada on September 22 at UFC 152. Penn had been retired since a brutal loss to Nick Diaz in November 2011.

Condit wants to fight Kampmann. Idle UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit acknowledged that if Georges St. Pierre is unable to fight by November, he would welcome a rematch against top contender Martin Kampmann.

UFC on FX 3 Facebook dissection. Check out comprehensive previews and predictions for Friday's entire UFC on FX 3 Facebook undercard -- Bernardo Magalhaes vs. Henry Martinez and Jake Hecht vs. Sean Pierson.

My first fight: Clay Guida. Perennial lightweight contender Clay Guida reminisced about the shenanigans surrounding his first fight, which of course involved the Sturgis motorcycle rally, three-dollar Wal-Mart fight shorts, licking a stranger's blood off his gloves, and free tickets to see Kid Rock.

TUF Live Finale's John Albert talks Kim Winslow decision. Disgruntled UFC bantamweight John Albert discussed the timeline that led to referee Kim Winslow prematurely stopping his match with Erik Perez, and revealed the subsequent backstage conversation Winslow had with the NSAC.

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MEDIA STEW

Let's be honest with ourselves here. For someone who's climbing back from a blown-out knee, Georges St. Pierre looks insanely athletic in his latest Road to Recovery video blog.

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The chain of events in this one is pretty great. Urijah Faber teaches Soledad O'Brien how to choke him out, brags about how it could kills someone, only to realize, 'wait, I'm on CNN saying MMA could kill someone,' and immediately backtrack to pull the 'MMA is really, really safe' card. You've got to love it. (HT: Reddit)

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Your first thought when you think of Mexico may not be MMA, but crazy knockouts like the one in this Christian Aldama vs. Esteban Santillanez fight may go a long way in changing that. Fight starts at 0:52. (HT: MiddleEasy)

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It's hard not to grin watching Anderson Silva reflect on how the dragon hidden inside him helped put an end to getting face-kicked by bigger kids back when he was eight years old.

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RETURN OF THE PRODIGY

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SOMEONE'S EXCITED

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NEVER A BAD TIME FOR A LITTLE SUNNY

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REPPING THE STARS AND STRIPES

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Tuesday, June 5, 2012):

- UFC 151: Dennis Siver (20-8) vs. Eddie Yagin (16-5-1) according to a report from mmanytt.se

- UFC on FUEL 4: Kenny Robertson (11-1) in against Aaron Simpson (11-3)

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes courtesy of heavyfl0w, who makes a compelling argument for an MMA legend: Hendo: Where Does He Stand?

Here's a mind-bender for you: What do Fedor Emelianenko, Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira, Wanderlei Silva, Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Rich Franklin, Vitor Belfort, Rousimar Palhares, Kazuo Misaki and Michael Bisping all have in common? I'll give you a second.

*humming the Jeopardy theme*

*twiddling my thumbs*

*trimming my nails*

Okay. The answer? Dan Henderson has beaten all of them. Isn't that an incredible list? Add to it these names: Rafael "Feijao" Cavalcante, Renato "Babalu", Murilo "Ninja" Rua and several other Brazilians with cool nicknames and you have what might be the most impressive resume in MMA history.

And yet, when you get into discussions about who the best fighter in MMA history is (I'm assuming you get into these kinds of discussions all the time), does Dan Henderson's name come up? I bet it doesn't. I bet it isn't even mentioned.

Normally, comparing an MMA fighter's resume to a basketball player's resume is a fools game. One is a team sport, and the other is an individual one. However, the more I think about this comparison, the more valid it seems. I'll spare you the superficial buildup. Isn't Dan Henderson's career comparable to Kareem Abdul-Jabbar's?

Found something perfect for the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's post.

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