In these days of callouts and trash talking for fighters to get what they want, Rory MacDonald is about as far removed from such antics as a fighter could get.
He has hopes, dreams, aspirations, and confidence, put he doesn’t inflate everything and throw it around to try and force the issue.
MacDonald’s only career losses are to Carlos Condit, four years ago, and Robbie Lawler, late last year. He’s coming off of a victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC 174 on Saturday night, which adds to his collection of victories, which includes wins over Demian Maia, Jake Ellenberger, BJ Penn, and Nate Diaz, amongst others.
He’s definitely built a No. 1 contender’s resume and he knows it. But MacDonald also knows that he’s not likely to get the first crack at welterweight champion Johny Hendricks when he returns this fall. That honor is likely to be bestowed upon the winner of the upcoming fight between Robbie Lawler and Matt Brown.
But MacDonald would also like his bosses to know that whenever they deem him worthy of the shot, he’s ready to take it.
“It’s not that I don’t want the title shot. I want it to be clear: I want that,” said MacDonald at the UFC 174 post-fight press conference. “But I respect the decision that there are two guys ahead of me that have been promised it, but if that fight is a stinker, I’m ready to step in.”
If he’s on the outside looking in for a title shot, MacDonald doesn’t want to sit on the sidelines and wait with bated breath for his turn to come. He’s seen too many other fighters wait and wait and wait and then, for whatever reason, their time never comes, and before you know it, a year of their career has passed them by.
“I like to fight. If I wait a year for a shot or if someone gets injured or whatever maybe they forget about me,” he said. “So I’ll just continue fighting if I have to wait (for a title shot).”
The idea of waiting doesn’t seem to distress MacDonald. In fact, he seems to be about as relaxed as he’s ever been.
Part of that is likely due to his friend and teammate Georges St-Pierre stepping away from fighting, which means MacDonald doesn’t constantly get bombarded with questions about whether the two would fight each the way he was always asked about it in the past.
Aside from that, however, MacDonald appears to be growing into his own skin as a fighter.
“I just feel like I’m falling into a groove; something’s clicking,” said MacDonald.
“I’ll be holding that belt very soon. There’s no doubt in my mind.”