by Damon Martin – MMAWeekly.com
Being 20 years old can be tough on anybody, much less a fighter who will be fighting in the UFC for the second time, but that’s exactly where Rory MacDonald finds himself, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
Facing former WEC champion Carlos Condit at UFC 115, MacDonald isn’t doing what the typical 20-year-old would be up to at this point in life. He’s not prepping for a final during a year away at college, and he’s not concerned about which party he’ll hit up with his friends during the weekend.
He’s training to compete in the biggest show in the world, and he wouldn’t have it any other way.
“I’m doing exactly what I want to in life,” MacDonald told MMAWeekly Radio recently about choosing to fight for a career. “I have a lot of friends who are doing the regular thing, but I don’t know, it doesn’t really interest me. I grew up a little bit faster than most people did, experiences in life, maturing faster. I knew what I wanted from an early age and I knew the sacrifices I had to make to get there.
“I’m having more fun doing what I’m doing than going out drinking and partying and stuff.”
With 10 pro fights to his credit, MacDonald has more experience than some of the veterans in the UFC, who are much older than him. The Canadian fighter credits his early start with the promotion to the success he’s tasted of late.
“It’s a confidence booster that I started young, I had such a great team and build-up to this point, so I feel very well prepared early on up to this point to get here,” said MacDonald.
Making his Octagon debut back in January, MacDonald faced fellow former King of the Cage fighter Mike Guymon, and it was a pretty successful first fight for the 20-year-old British Columbian as he submitted Guymon in the first round.
It’s no secret that fighters sometimes get jitters when they first step inside the Octagon, and MacDonald admits it was no different for him.
“I put a lot of pressure on myself so there was definitely a lot of nerves going into the first fight,” MacDonald stated. “I wanted to show that I belonged in the UFC, and these are the kind of guys I should be fighting. I had a lot of unnecessary pressure on myself, but I did take a lot out of that fight and I learned a bunch.”
Now MacDonald receives a whole new level of pressure for his second fight. He’s been matched up with Carlos Condit as the fight to kick off the UFC 115 pay-per-view in his home province of British Columbia. MacDonald says despite the fact that it’s almost a hometown fight for him, the first trip to the Octagon did away with all the nerves he could have possibly had for this second fight.
“It’s pretty much all those butterflies are gone now,” he said.
The match-up at UFC 115 is no easy task. Condit is a former WEC welterweight champion and top ten fighter, but MacDonald is confident that he can expose holes in the game of the Greg Jackson-trained fighter. He’ll look to do just that when he faces Condit this Saturday night.
“I’ve known that the whole time,” MacDonald said when asked if he could expose holes in Condit’s game. “I feel confident in it. I was confident right away that I can show that he has weaknesses and I can capitalize on them.”
MacDonald will look to back up that statement as he makes the three-hour drive from his home base to Vancouver for the fight with Condit at UFC 115 this weekend.