On November 16th at UFC 167 “St. Pierre vs. Hendricks”, Rory “Ares” Macdonald fell short in his fight against “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler losing the fight by split decision. Coming into this fight, Macdonald was riding an outstanding 5-fight win-streak over such opponents as Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle, BJ Penn and Jake Ellenberger and was considered to be a betting favorite. Macdonald was even being touted as the man to take the welterweight throne should Georges St. Pierre have retired, but the question then becomes, is Macdonald championship material?
This is the second crucial fight that the Kelowna native has dropped in the UFC. Macdonald’s first career loss came to “the Natural Born Killer” Carlos Condit at UFC 115, in a fight that Ares was winning until Condit managed to score the TKO win with 7 seconds left in the third round. If Macdonald had won that fight, it would have left no doubt that he could hang in there with the welterweight elite. Macdonald has since shown a lot of progress particularly in his striking and his takedowns. His loss to Lawler has set him back again as he has demonstrated that he cannot crack the top of the division. Macdonald tried to keep Lawler out of striking range with his jab and a series of front kicks, but Lawler was undeterred and pushed through scoring brutal punches that managed to drop Macdonald in the third round.
Ares is still incredibly young at 24 years old, and still has plenty of time to improve and make another run for the title. He has shown that he possesses all of the tools to be a great fighter. He has fantastic hands, versatile kicks, great cardio and is able to follow a game plan to perfection. The only thing that Macdonald needs at this point is more ring time. The young Canadian has 16 professional fights, starting his career at 16 years old in 2005 at Extreme Fighting Challenge 4. I’d like to see Macdonald fight Josh Koschek or Brian Ebersole next. Both of those fighters came up short as well and it just seems logical. Given the close nature of Macdonald’s loss, the UFC could also pit him against Tyrone Woodley to give Ares a quick career turn-around.