Long-time UFC top 10 welterweight Rory MacDonald bounced back from his defeat at the hands of Robbie Lawler with an impressive decision win over Demian Maia at UFC 170. The split decision loss to ‘Ruthless’ at UFC 169 ended MacDonald’s five fight win streak, and landed the Canadian in a difficult spot.
Against Maia, MacD was able to prove that he is worthy of his lofty spot in the rankings, and scored himself a UFC 174 showdown against Tyron Woodley for his efforts. Woodley recently said he plans on ‘Whooping that young kid’s butt’ when talking about ‘Ares’, but the 24 year-old Canadian ‘Psycho’ sees things a little differently. Check out what MacDonald had to say when he sat down with MMAJunkie.com:
“I definitely feel like I’m hitting my stride now this year. My focus is at an all-time high, and I couldn’t be happier. Ranked as the No. 2 contender or whatever in the world, it’s very exciting for me. I have a handful of techniques that will work really well against that style of fighter,” MacDonald said. “I’m very pleased to be matched up with him, and I’m very confident in winning that fight. I’ll be in good shape for that fight, very focused and very hungry for the victory.”
The fight with Woodley could well be MacDonald’s biggest challenge to date; ‘The Chosen One’ seems to be in the prime of his career, and is a great combination of wrestler/striker. The similarities that Woodley has to the champion Johny Hendricks will mean that we get a gauge of how MacD might fare in a bout with the champion.
“When I beat Woodley, hopefully [I get a title shot] in the fall or winter in Toronto or Montreal,” MacDonald said. “Hendricks is a great fighter. I have a lot of respect for him. He’s definitely a good fighter, and I’m excited to see him in the future. I’m striving to be a champion in the welterweight division,” MacDonald said. “I don’t want to fill Georges’ shoes. That’s an impossible task. I don’t want to be Georges. I want to be myself. I want to represent my style of martial arts and my own personality.”
The title picture when Georges St-Pierre was champion really wasn’t much clearer than it is now, but the added difficulty of having his training partner as champion is a thing of the past for MacDonald. Although not active right now, it’s clear that St-Pierre has left a lasting impression on his young protégé, and he hopes to be as dominant as ‘Rush’ was while champ:
“Georges was probably the greatest champion ever, and he’s been a great person for me to learn from, train beside and watch fight over the years. He’s a model for Canadian fighters, and I just hope I can be as dominant as him in the cage.”
Once again MacDonald finds himself on the brink of a title shot, but can he put his plan to work against power-punching, trash talking machine Tyron Woodley? If so, it may be the start of the championship chapter of Rory MacDonald’s storied career.