Some questioned Rory MacDonald after he took a fight with BJ Penn last year.

MacDonald, a rising star, and Penn, a previously-retired former UFC champion, were on opposite ends of the spectrum.

After the Canadian picked Penn apart, he called out Carlos Condit for a rematch. The fight was booked, but MacDonald was forced to pull out after suffering a neck injury.

Now, fully healed, MacDonald will face Jake Ellenberger later this year in a key match for both fighters in regards to the UFC’s welterweight rankings.

“I haven’t beaten the caliber of fighters who are Top-10 or the guys he has beaten,” MacDonald said, while appearing on Alchemist Radio recently. “I’m a young guy and trying to work my way up into that position.”

MacDonald’s (14-1) lone career loss came to Condit, while Ellenberger (29-6) has won two straight, including a recent win over Nate Marquardt.

“Jake is definitely going to be the hardest hitter I’ve ever faced,” MacDonald said. “I think I have some tools that he’s going to be surprised with and I think I’ll be able to figure out the puzzle.”