Ok here is the thing
What will Rory MaCdonald do when he realises that he's in with a guy who is better than him! and I mean this purely in terms of how will Rory react? yes he's a good young prospect, yes he is bigger and stronger, but Penn is better in every discipline of MMA apart from conditioning! a fighter does not fight anything close to his natural game when faced with adversity, if anyone thinks MaCdonald is good enough to have everything his own way with Penn frankly you do not what you are talking about
Looking into this further ................... we all know the blue print by now, allow BJ to gas in round 3 after 2 semi gruelling rounds with a much much bigger man, do not go to the ground with BJ, push a pace on the feet, dont shoot for a double etc etc etc, all of the above is easier said than done for a guy like MaCdonald, this is a whole new level of opponent, and we know this because Penn is in shape! MaCdonald will not enjoy the exchanges on the feet, BJ has heavy hands and is an excellent combination puncher, Rory will not take Penn down while he's fresh
, therefore the plan for Rory (once the bell goes) is to survive while Penn tires and then look for a finish.
Well Rory MaCdonald does not strike me as a patient strategic kind of fighter, he will go after Penn from the off, this is good for him because if you can get to Penn early and make him work in places he doesnt want to work early it doesnt bode well for him late on, flip side ................ if you make a mistake while Penn is fresh he will finish you on the feet or on the ground or a combination of both.
My feeling is that Penn does look in good shape for this, I follow BJ's blogs weekly and have always done this since he began them, therefore the signs are always there when its gone well (Florian, Sanchez, Hughes 3) or when it hasnt been great (Diaz) he looks like he's in shape! depending on what shape he's in i expect him to submit Rory in all honestly, if BJ Penn comes into the cage somewhere near his strongest cardio wise, i believe he will beat Rory MaCdonald.
MaCdonald will be hungry, fresh, strong, sharp and he will want to put a statement out, you dont put a statement out on BJ Penn, and he will find this out on the night, i believe his eagerness will cause a mistake and Penn will wrap him up and tap him or pound him out.
Just my opinion.