Top-5 welterweight contender Rory MacDonald will get a real threat at UFC 167 in the form of dangerous veteran Robbie Lawler. “Ruthless” has lived up to his moniker since returning to the promotion with devastating victories over Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker. The 170-pound weight class has seemed to be a perfect fit for Lawler at this stage of his career.
However, “Ares” will be looking to get himself in line for a possible title shot with another victory. MacDonald took plenty of criticism for his unanimous decision victory over Jake Ellenberger at UFC on FOX 8. While the two engaged in quite a war of words on Twitter prior to the bout, the trash-talk was unfortunately more entertaining than the actual fight. MacDonald relied on a stiff jab and kicks to keep the powerful Ellenberger off his game for most of the 15 minutes.
The bout was heavily panned with some of the harshest criticism coming from UFC president Dana White. MacDonald has reeled off five straight wins since his only career loss against Carlos Condit. He’s been after a rematch since then, but instead could find himself on the verge of a title opportunity with an impressive showing against Lawler.
MacDonald has indicated that he intends to be more aggressive in this fight after the criticism he received despite being victorious in his last time out. He believes he can be more exciting while holding true to his technical expertise. Lawler is definitely not the opponent to get reckless against as he has registered 18 knockouts in his 21 career victories. He can be vulnerable on the ground though, as Lawler has been submitted on five occasions.
Lawler will no doubt look to employ his aggressive style and utilize his formidable punching power and dangerous kicks. He can get rid of any opponent if he lands on the button and knows another impressive victory will have him in the mix for a title opportunity.
MacDonald’s best bet would be to try and keep Lawler off balance with his steady jab and leg kicks. His best advantage would be to get his dangerous opponent to the ground where he could showcase his impressive ground-and-pound game.
The 24-year old MacDonald has always said that he would never fight current champion Georges St. Pierre, who has been his mentor and training partner at the Tristar gym. That topic will definitely be revisited and the question asked again if both fighters emerge victorious this weekend in Las Vegas. However, if Johny Hendricks dethrones GSP and MacDonald gets by Lawler, you could have a future title matchup.
Rick LaFitte is an MMA Writer for Rant Sports