Top-ranked UFC welterweight contender Rory MacDonald is coming off a TKO loss to champion Robbie Lawler in his last outing. It was a war that instantly became a Fight of the Year candidate, but the defeat was the Canadian’s second to Lawler.
While the loss puts MacDonald in a potentially awkward position within the 170-pound division, it also made the 26-year-old a better fighter.
“I’m more hungry than ever. It’s pushed me further. It’s made my blood burn. I just want to fight more. I want to fight every weekend. It’s made me very hungry,” MacDonald said during a recent fan Q&A session.
“I’m always going to be ready for a war. Hopefully, next time, I will handle it better and I won’t get put away like I did. I learned a lot from that experience,” MacDonald added. “It’s going to make me a much more mature fighter moving forward.”
Still awaiting medical clearance for a nose injury he suffered during the July loss to Lawler, MacDonald expects to return in early 2016 and be more active than ever.
“I’m definitely not sitting out. That’s not for me. I want to get back in there and fight as much as possible. I’m not waiting anymore for title shots or anything like that. If it happens, it happens. I’ll be fine, but I need to fight more actively. That’s what I like to do.”
MacDonald believes that his next opponent will be Hector Lombard. Lombard is currently serving out the final months of a year-long suspension for testing positive to anabolic steroids following his Jan. 3 fight against Josh Burkman at 182. The timeframe falls in line with when MacDonald wants to return.
Who he faces next doesn’t matter that much to British Columbia native. He just wants to fight and is even willing to accept matches in the middleweight division.
“Tyron (Woodley) would be fine. Anybody in the division or middleweight, I’ll fight. It doesn’t really bother me,” he said. “It looks like Hector Lombard is the next fight.”