The commentators, Rogan and Goldberg, were in full on hype mode, talking about MacDonald as a one-day champion all while praising his tremendous amount of skill.
It was a picture-perfect build for "Ares" and he delivered with one of the more hellacious beatdowns you could imagine against Mills, perhaps making him reconsider his nickname "Beautiful" by the time his night was over.
So how did MacDonald pull it off? And what happens next for both men?
Follow me after the jump for our Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills UFC 145 post-fight review and analysis:
In the early goings of the fight, MacDonald decided to stand and trade with Mills which was not a very good idea. Mills landed some nice kicks early and then a pair of big right hands once the action became more intense. The latter punch forced MacDonald to abandon the feet and instead shoot for takedowns.
Thankfully, Mills is British and thus had no ground game and MacDonald made him pay big time with a big flurry of punches, elbows and hammer fists which busted "Beautiful's" face up badly inside the first minute of putting the Brit on his back.
After dropping more punishment, MacDonald worked to pass Mills' guard and he passed to mount, dropping some very heavy shots from above and coming very close to finishing the fight before Mills was saved by the bell.
In the second round, MacDonald wisely grabbed a single leg, turned the corner and dumped Mills on his back very early, again opening up with a big flurry on the ground and cutting the Brit's face up even worse than before. After taking Mills' back with both hooks in, "Ares" really let loose a powerful spree of strikes which eventually forced the referee to intervene and put a stop to the onslaught.
For Che Mills, he did about as good as one could expect given the situation. The UFC was looking for a sacrificial lamb to showcase MacDonald's talents on their pay-per-view card right before the big main event and they found one. Mills put up a fight in the stand-up but if he ever wants to be taken seriously, he needs to improve that takedown defense or this is going to be the recipe to beat him every time out until he's released.
For Rory MacDonald, he did exactly what was wanted of him. He took care of business against an overmatched opponent. "Ares" clearly had an advantage on the ground so that was his safe place in case the stand-up wasn't going well. Once he got cracked a few times, he wisely put Mills on his back and then just went to absolute work on him with some of the most brutal ground and pound I've seen. I hope he can fix some of the deficiencies in his striking as he's definitely a talent to keep an eye out for in the near future.
I'd love to see him face the winner of Josh Koscheck vs. Johny Hendricks, but if the UFC thinks that's too much, too soon, I understand. Other possibilities could include Rick Story or Brian Ebersole if either of them are successful in their upcoming fights. It'll be interesting to see what the UFC's strategy is in terms of building up such a tremendous talent like him.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Was this the exact same outcome you anticipated? How long do you think the UFC can stall MacDonald's ascension to the elite in the division?