Rory MacDonald desperately needed a win against Demian Maia at UFC 170, as his last performance, against Robbie Lawler, didn’t go his way. He knew he needed to showcase the killer MacDonald, the one that had fans talking about him being a title contender. Maia had a dominant first round, but MacDonald took over in the last two rounds, destroying Maia with kicks and jabs.
MacDonald was awarded the unanimous decision, and he proved to be the elite striker against Maia. The Rory that showed up tonight is as dangerous as they get in the welterweight division. Rory wasn’t content to just jab his way to a decision. No, he wanted to punish Maia on the feet, and this is exactly what he did. Rory mixed his combinations up well, kicking Maia to the body and peppering him with some hard punches. It’s performances like this that fans want to see from him.
In terms of an opponent, there’s only one real matchup that makes a lot of sense for MacDonald, and that’s against the winner of the Carlos Condit vs. Tyron Woodley fight. MacDonald already has a history with Condit. Condit was able to beat MacDonald in the third round, but up until that point, MacDonald was beating Condit pretty soundly. The rematch would be a great draw for the UFC. Or, if Woodley comes out on top against Condit, that’s a great bout for Rory, as it would give him the chance to test his wrestling defense and chin.
Whoever they put against MacDonald, if he can keep his killer instinct and fight in a dynamic way like he did against Maia, he could earn a title shot in 2014.