While there remains no firm date or event confirmation, it’s clear that UFC President Dana White is keen on seeing upstart welterweight Rory MacDonald get his next assignment in the Octagon against veteran Robbie Lawler.
MacDonald is fresh off a forgettable decision victory at UFC on Fox 8 against Jake Ellenberger that drew more criticism than praise for the tedious nature of the bout. It was one of those fights where the trash talking going in was more entertaining than the fight itself.
To be fair, despite the criticism from his UFC boss, MacDonald didn’t apologize for the jab fest strategy that kept Ellenberger off balance for the entire three rounds. He got the victory and moved further up the welterweight rankings.
Now despite being asked many times if he would ever fight his training partner, champion Georges St.Pierre, the Tristar gym product hasn’t changed his tone: the answer has always been a firm no. Despite this, White is absolutely confident that if MacDonald continues to take out his opposition, that the day will come where he would show an interest in a fight against his mentor.
St.Pierre, for his part, still has a big hurdle to deal with in the form of the hard-hitting Johny Hendricks at UFC 167.
Prior to the Ellenberger fight, MacDonald had called for a rematch against Carlos Condit, the lone man to defeat him in the Octagon. That’ll have to wait with Condit fighting Martin Kampmann this month at UFC Fight Night 27.
So now with the veteran Lawler having looked spectacular in his return to the organization, he will get the opportunity to derail his younger opponent. “Ruthless” has certainly lived up to his nickname with devastating knockout finishes over Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker, and the move to welterweight definitely seems to have paid off.
The matchup would hopefully not be as timid a battle as the MacDonald-Ellenberger bout proved to be. Lawler is usually never involved in a dull fight, win or lose. He would likely look to deliver the powerful striking game that he is known for and as shown in the Voelker fight, he’s added a lot to his offensive repertoire. Lawler is a guy who goes out on his shield.
MacDonald would likely look to keep Lawler off balance with an effective jab, and would definitely have an advantage in the ground game. It’s a fun fight that fans would be interested in seeing; it’s just a matter of when and where. It would definitely be a fight that would tell us a lot about both competitors — whether MacDonald is indeed the next in line for whoever emerges with the belt at UFC 167, or if the veteran Lawler has found the ingredients in this weight class to make him an elite fighter.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports