Rory MacDonald solidified his spot as the top-ranked Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender (behind Robbie Lawler, of course) this past weekend Oct. 4, 2014, at UFC Fight Night 54, knocking out Tarec Saffiedine in round three of their headlining bout in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.
The finish was MacDonald's first in his past six winning bouts and was good enough to likely earn him a shot at the 170- pound title, which is currently in the hands of Johny Hendricks, after "Ruthless" gets his opportunity later this year at UFC 181.
According to MacDonald's trainer, Firas Zahabi, the dominating victory is just what "Ares" needed to finally convince UFC execs to give him his long-desired shot at the strap. Because at the end of the day, knockouts and finishes are what ultimately gets a fighter to the Promised Land.
"When he beat Tyron Woodley they said he would get the title shot after that, but it wasn't enough, they gave it to Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler as a elimination bout. It's because they have good performances and that's what the market is -- people want to pay for what they want to see, and I understand that, it's fair I think now people want to see Rory. He finish the fight with an incredible left hook that I think would have knocked out an elephant if it would have hit an elephant."
According to the Tri-Star head trainer, finishes are always on the to do list for all his fighters, MacDonald included. But that's easier said than done because finishing a top contender inside the Octagon isn't easy.
"Everybody was telling him 'you're not finishing you're not finishing.' In round three, again, he wanted to go for a finish instead of staying with the game plan. That's what he did on Saturday, he didn't think about going out there reading and reacting not planning out what you're going to do beautiful it came naturally all of a sudden should come about."
Using the best boxer in the world, Floyd Mayweather Jr., as an example, Zahabi says even the best sometimes don't get to finish, regardless of how hard he or she tries inside the ring or cage.
"It is the way it is I think over time things will change. You look at Floyd Mayweather he doesn't knock people out either, but man is he loved and man does he sell pay per views. I think that over time, people are going to understand that even the best of the best on always get the KO it's not easy at this level. We're always looking for a finish and you're crazy if you don't think everybody wants to finish."
Nevertheless, MacDonald pretty much secured his shot at the title against the winner of the upcoming rematch between the aforementioned Hendricks and Lawler, which will headline UFC 181 on Dec. 6, 2014, in Las Vegas Nevada.
And according to "Ares," it doesn't matter to him who he faces he is confident he can take out either one of those hard-hitting welterweights.