After dominating Che Mills this past weekend (April 21, 2012) at UFC 145 in Atlanta, Ga., Rory MacDonald upped his win streak inside the Octagon to three, continuing his ascension to the top of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight division.
From the opening bell, MacDonald dominated the overmatched Mills, leaving him bloodied and battered after the first five minutes of action. Ultimately, "Ares" proved to be too much for the Brit, as the referee was forced to step in and save "Beautiful" from further punishment at the hands of the young Canadian in the second round.
With his lone loss coming at the hands of the mixed martial art (MMA) promotion's current interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit at UFC 115 two years ago, MacDonald is one step closer to possibly getting his rematch with the "Natural Born Killer" should he get past MacDonald's training partner, reigning 170-pound champion, Georges St. Pierre, later this year.
Describing his style as a "technically aggressive," MacDonald has proven that despite his young age (22), he has what it takes to compete with the best 170-pound fighters in the world not named St. Pierre. Not because he thinks he can't beat "Rush," but because he believes in his principles -- no amount of money would ever make his step into the Octagon against a man he considers his friend.
He said as much in a recent interview with Sportsnet :
"I think I could beat anybody in the division right now. I know my skill level. I've evolved so much, added so many tools to my game. I feel like I've put so many things in my game that I can be aggressive but technical at the same time. It takes experience (to learn how to stay calm). I've lost control in one of my fights before (but) basically (I) try to keep composed and try not to make mistakes and keep my technique. A lot of people think it's better to go into berserker mode, but it's not actually. I'm a pretty exciting fighter without going into berserker mode."
"It's about principle. You can't dance with the devil. I didn't get into (mixed martial arts) for money ... I'm not taking a fight against Georges. We're training partners and help each other get better ... I stick to my principles. I believe in friendship. I have to think more tomorrow and 10 years from now."
With the UFC set to head to Canada at least three times this year -- UFC 149 in Calgary on July 21, UFC 152 in Toronto on Sept. 22 and UFC 154 in Montreal on Nov. 17 -- the young Canadian would like nothing more to compete on his home turf next time out:
"I've got to heal my elbow up and see how I feel in two weeks. I don't want to fight too soon so I'll be injured when I fight ... I definitely want to make an appearance on Canadian soil."
With one or two more impressive victories, MacDonald could be well on his way to his own title shot.
But, who should he face in his next outing?
The winner of Josh Koscheck and Johny Hendricks, who are set to tangle at UFC on Fox 3 on May 5, 2012, could be a good option and could prove to a be an intriguing test for the young welterweight. Unless, of course, you have a better opponent in mind?