Although Rory MacDonald was already ranked #2 in the UFC’s welterweight division heading into UFC Fight Night 54, if the rising fighter had gone out and recorded another decision win, chances are a few folks would still be arguing he shouldn’t receive a title shot. After he took out Tarec Saffiedine in round three, however, who’s a former Strikeforce champ and had never been stopped in nearly 20 fights, how do you not give it to “Ares”?
While it’s pretty much assumed that MacDonald will be face the winner of the upcoming December 6th scrap between Johnny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, who do you think the 25 year-old would rather fight? MacDonald was decisioned by Lawler last November; would he like to avenge that tightly contested loss? Or, would he rather take on the current champ? Who many people believe in fact defeated MacDonald’s training partner and buddy, Georges St-Pierre?
Well, following Saturday’s fight night card, MacDonald was asked who he wants to scrap next, and here is what the Canadian had to say (quotes via MMA Fighting.com):
“I just want to fight the best man, so, whoever,” said MacDonald, who has scored wins over Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and now Saffiedine since losing by split decision to Lawler.
Okay. So MacDonald may be playing the diplomatic card here, but who does he think will win?
“I don’t know,” MacDonald said. “They’re both really good guys, they had a really close fight in the last one and Johny pulled it out in the last minute, the last round, so who knows? He’s going to bring it. I just hope they put on a good fight again and may the best man win.”
Alrighty. Looks like MacDonald isn’t about to throw down the trash talking gauntlet. To be fair, it is a hard bout to call. As MacDonald noted, their first encounter was very close and Lawler has done nothing but impress since the memorable fight.
Now it remains to be seen when, and I guess if, MacDonald is in fact tapped for a title shot. Now, if Lawler defeats Hendricks at UFC 181, and it’s a competitive and or controversial fight, there’s always the possibility that the UFC could put together a rubber match. If that were to happen, then MacDonald would likely be booked for another fight in the interim.
UFC FN 54 went down at the Halifax Forum, in Halifax, Nova Scotia.