Rory MacDonald finds himself in a very enterprising position at welterweight; currently the number two of the division, and no longer having to steer clear of former BFF and champion at 170 pounds, Georges St-Pierre. Now eying a title shot in the near future, the young Canadian has turned around his fortunes after a dismal 2013.
‘Ares’ only fought twice last year, and didn’t do much for his stock at ww; a very lacklustre showing against Jake Ellenberger last summer led to MacD being fed to a hungry Robbie Lawler at UFC 167. The decision loss to ‘Ruthless’ snapped a five-fight spree for MacDonald, but he was able to regain momentum with an exciting win over Demian Maia at UFC 170 last month.
Check out what MacD had to say about his title aspirations while talking with MSN:
"I really do believe that I am the No. 1 guy. I believe that I'm the true champion," MacDonald said. "In my mind, regardless who gets the title shot, the belt will be in my hands eventually so they might as well give it to me now so I can take it."
"I think I match up great. I've really felt that for a long time that would be a great fight for me, a fight that I could very well finish," MacDonald said about Hendricks. "Our camp has prepared for him in the past so that's definitely a bonus. I have my own outlook on how I would fight Johny and my own imagination on how I would go into that fight. I'm very confident if I step into the Octagon against him."
The true champion? Probably not, but MacDonald is certainly a top flight contender. I think he deserves the title shot without a doubt, but he can’t say that he deserves the belt more than the champion Johny Hendricks, surely. MacD continued:
"I think in all aspects I'm ahead of them," MacDonald said. "I've been around longer in the UFC and I think my wins over BJ Penn, (Jake) Ellenberger, these are crucial things. Even in the performances I've come up short in, they've been close fights and proven that I belong there."
Having only ever lost to Carlos Condit before Robbie Lawler, Macdonald holds notable wins over BJ Penn, Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle, Che Mills, ‘Juggernaut’ and most recently Maia. An impressive resume without question, but with Hendricks injured, MacD may well have to fight again.
"I'm telling the UFC I'm down for anything," MacDonald said. "If they want me to fight again before a title shot, then fine, I don't care. If they want me to wait because they want me to fight for the title, then I'll do that.”
"I'm a competitor, I feel that I am the true champion and I'm not scared of anyone in the division. If I need to stay busy and knock someone else out, then I'll do that."
Could this be the year that MacDonald lives up to his much-hyped potential? Only time will tell, but he stands a great chance, especially seeing as he is one of the only top competitors at 170 pounds that doesn’t have ties right now.