Canadian welterweight Rory MacDonald finally gets his title shot Saturday against champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 189.
UFC 189: Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald
Rory MacDonald has been waiting a long time for his crack at the Ultimate Fighting Championship welterweight title and now that it’s right in front of him Saturday at UFC 189, he plans to take advantage of it – unlike the last time he fought Lawler.
MacDonald dropped a split decision to the current champ in 2013 and that loss served as a wake-up call to the 25-year-old.
“Before that, I was like ‘I just want this to be over,’” MacDonald said. “The difference this time is I want to fight. I’m looking forward to being in there, have the blood on my face and be in the heat of battle.”
UFC 189 Odds and Betting
That’s exactly what the UFC is hoping. Bettors have been all over the Canadian, who was pegged as a -220 favorite to become the new welterweight champion, has dropped a bit to -195 at Sports Interaction. MacDonald’s betting support remains strong with about 66 percent of bets backing the challenger.
Many feel that MacDonald’s time is now. Unlike many MMA fighters, MacDonald grew up in the game and trained all disciplines from the beginning with one main fighting style. That gives him many more options in the octagon and now his maturity and mental game is starting to catch up with his physical skills.
“When I got into the UFC, I knew I wasn’t ready to fight for the belt. When I first got in, I still had a lot of growth to do,” MacDonald told reporters. “I needed a lot of experience with top level guys and it took time but, step by step I gained that experience, I kept practicing techniques, developing new styles and keeping an open mind as a martial artist and I’m here.”
MacDonald certainly has the resume now with wins over Nate Diaz, B.J. Penn, Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine and an 18-2 record. That said, Robbie Lawler went through a lot to finally win the welterweight belt and stealing it from the underdog champion is going to be a tall task.
“It’s not more incentive, it’s just going to be more to the story of you guys didn’t believe in me again,” Lawler told reporters about being the underdog. “I’m going to prove you wrong — again.”