Fightin' Words

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Guard remains unchanged after Penn-MacDonald at UFC on Fox 5

Rory MacDonald, right, kicks BJ Penn in the

Rory MacDonald, right, kicks BJ Penn in the third round of a welterweight bout at UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle. (Dec. 8, 2012) (Credit: AP )

Rory MacDonald beat BJ Penn at UFC on Fox 5 in Seattle on Saturday night. Where exactly was the "changing of the guard" mentioned prominently on the broadcast and elsewhere?

Penn is 33 years old, MacDonald 23. Other than the age difference, this fight should not be looked upon as any sort of changing of the guard.

Thirteen-plus months ago, Penn entered into an unofficial retirement after his loss to Nick Diaz at welterweight at UFC 137. If the Penn-MacDonald fight took place at lightweight -- the division Penn ruled for several years -- then sure, the "changing of the guard" moniker applies. But not at welterweight.

Yes, Penn is one of two fighters in UFC history to win the title in two weight classes. He may have fought at welterweight a few times throughout his 12 years as a pro, but Penn's legacy rests at 155 pounds, not 170.

If Penn had been more active recently, then maybe you can argue there was a guard that changed. But he wasn't.

MacDonald's victory was nothing more than a younger, bigger fighter beating up on a smaller man a bit past his prime.

You want a true "changing of the guard"? MacDonald would have to beat Tri-Star teammate Georges St-Pierre for that to happen.

Tags: rory macdonald , bj penn , ufc on fox 5 , welterweight , lightweight , georges st-pierre

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