Rory MacDonald didn’t have to beg for a title shot, but he did after beating Tarec Saffiedine. Less than a week later, the UFC is giving it to him with a bonus.
Pretty Impossible to Deny Him
UFC President Dana White announced that MacDonald will face the winner of the Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler bout. That bout is scheduled as the replacement main event of UFC 181 on December 6 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to White, it was “pretty impossible to deny” Rory MacDonald the next shot at the welterweight belt after three impressive wins in 2014. MacDonald decisioned Demain Maia and Tyron Woodley earlier this year before knocking out former Strikeforce Welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine last Week at the UFC Fight Night event at Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The bonus for Rory is that his title bout will be held in his home country of Canada.
Rory MacDonald entered the UFC scene as the protege of former UFC welterweight king and fellow Canadian Georges St. Pierre and he continues to fight under St. Pierre’s Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada. When St. Pierre was still champion, MacDonald said that he wouldn’t fight for the title against the man he called his mentor.
St. Pierre has left the UFC indefinitely after defeating Hendricks via controversial split decision last November 2013. With the title vacant, Hendricks fought Lawler at UFC 171 last March 15. Hendricks decisioned Lawler but Robbie got his rematch after quickly recovering with back to back wins over Jake Ellenberger and Matt Brown.
On the other hand, MacDonald could have gotten his title shot much earlier but he lost a close split decision to Robbie Lawler at UFC 167. That win would later give Lawler the title bout against Hendricks while MacDonald had to go back to the drawing board.But all of that is in the past now, as these three fighters’ paths will soon cross with one title to fight for. Well actually, St. Pierre could be a fourth man in that mix.
Instant Title Shot
A couple of weeks ago, Dana White had guaranteed that St. Pierre would get an immediate title shot if and when he decides to make his UFC comeback. But according to MacDonald, St. Pierre won’t be fighting for the title if he becomes world champion. MacDonald says that he believes that St. Pierre will return to the Octagon but added that GSP will “respect his position” if he had the belt around his waist. He referred to the unwritten agreement they had in the past that they would never fight each other. MacDonald said that position has not changed until now.
Of course, St. Pierre has not committed to a return,especially since he wants strict drug testing on his next fights. MacDonald too has a title bout to win before he even thinks about GSP in the future. But with these exciting storylines, the UFC Welterweight division is primed to be the promotion’s leading weight class in 2015.