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MacDonald v Penn won't happen at UFC 153
Rory MacDonald's camp has ruled out the possibility of the Canadian fighting BJ Penn at UFC 153, insisting he will not be able to start taking punches in training until the beginning of October.
MacDonald was forced to pull out of the pair's UFC 152 bout with a severe cut to the eye. He has since had 38 stitches to repair the wound.
A revised November 17 date in Montreal was put forward for the rescheduled fight, but Penn has since countered by asking MacDonald to meet him at UFC 153 on October 13. However, that date appears highly unlikely.
"The thing is, Rory's cut is to the bone and there's three layers of stitches," MacDonald's coach Firas Zahabi told Fighters Only. "There's stitches on the inside layer and the outside and the eyebrow. So the doctor says no contact at all for one month and that doesn't mean he can start sparring after a month - he can't get punched there for a while, longer than a month.
"He can start to do technique and wrestling after a month but we are not planning on putting a headgear on him until the first of October. Anything before that would be too early and the chances of Rory getting a new cut would be too high, it's too dangerous.
"A cut is a cut but 38 stitches is a massive cut, it's not a regular cut where you get 10 or 12 stitches and it heals after a few weeks. This is a massive cut, it went internal, all the way to the bone. So you could see the bone of his skull after he got cut.
"That's why there's so many stitches - 38 over three layers, that's why he can't even have any contact at all for one month. Can't even drill. And after a month he can start technical movements - armlocks and toeholds on the ground, wrestling manoeuvres.
"But he can't get punched. It will be another month a half before we put a headgear on him. And by put a headgear on him I mean making him box. Because if we get another punch on it, it's going to reopen. So it will be a while before we can get the headgear on him."