Photo by Josh Hedges via Getty Images
Mike Pyle had been in this situation before.
At UFC 120, he was brought in to face John Hathaway, a young gun who was hyped as the potential future of the welterweight division. Pyle wasn't expected to win, but he dominated "The Hitman" en route to an easy unanimous decision victory.
MacDonald was too aggressive, too strong and too skilled to get stuck in "Quicksand's" mire.
We'll breakdown how "Ares" pulled it off after the jump.
Right away, MacDonald was all business, shrugging off Pyle's early takedown attempts and blasting him in the face with a big straight right hand that, combined with a sneaky simultaneous ankle pick with his left hand, put the veteran on canvas.
There was cause for concern when "Quicksand" got to his feet and finally scored a takedown but the Canadian prospect was extremely calm, showing no signs of panic despite being under the talented submission expert. "Ares" quickly got back to his feet and turned the tables on Pyle, blasting him with some advanced striking techniques and even surprising the veteran with a standing guillotine choke that forced him to his back.
What happened next is something that could define Rory MacDonald. Despite having a serious advantage on the feet, he dove into the guard of a man with 17 submissions (out of 21 career victories) and proceeded to beat his face in with ground and pound.
After a particularly gruesome left hook that nailed Pyle on the jaw, the veteran turned away from the punishment and it was only a matter of time before a swarm of punches from the rising Tristar product finished the fight.
Needless to say, this was not a good day for Mike Pyle. The veteran Xtreme Couture fighter was on quite a run at the time, but he had all his momentum sent to a crashing halt by the 22 year old. Possible future opponent for him would be fellow UFC 133 main card fighter Dennis Hallman (if he's not cut for his speedo fiasco), the loser of the upcoming Matt Hughes vs. Diego Sanchez fight or perhaps Brazilian submission specialist Carlos Eduardo Rocha.
For Rory MacDonald, anything is possible. It'll depend how much of a push the UFC wants to give this kid. He showed tremendous promise in this fight and he's gotten better every time we've seen him in the Octagon. He could fight anyone from fellow UFC 133 winner Johny Hendricks to another Xtreme Couture welterweight like Martin Kampmann. If the UFC really wants to throw him into the fire, Jon Fitch is looking for an opponent now that his shoulder is nearly healed. This kid is going to be special.
So what do you think, Maniacs?
Was Joe Rogan correct in his post-fight praise of MacDonald when he said he thought he could be better than Georges St. Pierre? Or should we temper our expectations?