The UFC welterweight title changed hands at UFC 181 on Dec. 6, when Robbie Lawler edged out Johny Hendricks by split decision. The decision was controversial, but not to No.2-ranked 170-pound contender Rory MacDonald.
The 25-year-old Canadian sat cage-side for the rematch between Hendricks and Lawler. He watched with a keen eye. He’s certainly in line for a title fight. While many disagreed with the decision, MacDonald agreed with the judges’ scoring.
“It’s pretty impossible to deny Rory that, whoever comes out of that Hendricks-Lawler fight, he’s the next guy in line,” White told the Canadian Press at the time. “He’s next in line and that fight will be in Canada.”
Lawler holds a win over MacDonald. They fought to a split decision at UFC 167 in November 2013. MacDonald hopes White’s plans haven’t changed. He’s excited that the rematch could take place in his home country and promises that he’ll be in the right mindset and well prepared.
“I’ll be very focused and I’ll be ready. I’ve been hearing that the fight will be in Canada and that’d be great if it was. I’d love it if it were in British Columbia, but I’d be happy with anywhere up there,” he said.
It turns out that MacDonald’s title shot isn’t exactly a done deal. A Lawler-Hendricks trilogy could very well be in the makings.
“I think that is what we said, so we’ll see what happens,” White said during the UFC 181 Post-Show on Fox Sports 1 about MacDonald being next in line. Although, White followed up those comments with, “A trilogy wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
Whether the trilogy between Hendricks and Lawler happens next or MacDonald gets his rematch remains up in the air.
“I have no idea,” said White when asked if MacDonald’s title shot was set in stone.