Top Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight contender Rory MacDonald was able to defeat fellow 170-pound rising star Tyron Woodley in the co-main event of the UFC 174: "Johnson vs. Bagautinov" pay-per-view (PPV) event last Saturday night (June 14, 2014) inside Rogers Arena in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
And he had a little help from "The Chosen One."
Woodley spent a majority of the fight with his back against the fence, forced to absorb the forward pressure from his Canadian attacker. "T-Wood" was eventually taken down in the third and final frame, where he was pounded on until time expired (recap).
So much for all that yapping about title contention.
Unfortunately, the road may not be paved with gold for MacDonald, either. While he took a commanding lead early in the fight and never let it go, the lack of a finish -- and the fact that it's just his second straight win -- hurts his chances in the welterweight lottery.
Blame the headliners of UFC on FOX 12.
In order to secure a crack at the crown, currently worn by the surgically-repaired Johny Hendricks, a good performance is not going to cut it. It has to be great. That's because MacDonald is racing to the finish line against Matt Brown and Robbie Lawler, who slug it out next month in San Jose.
More on that fight here.
Brown has won seven straight with six brutal knockouts. Lawler is 4-1 since dropping to welterweight, already holds a victory over MacDonald, and was likely one takedown away from winning the 170-pound strap from Hendricks last March in Dallas, in one of the best title fights of the year.
Lawler also outranks "Ares" in the official UFC rankings.
So who would MacDonald fight next if he can't get a shot at "Bigg Rigg?" Well, I'd like to see a title eliminator bout against Hector Lombard, but only if "Lightning" can get past the venerable Dong Hyun Kim later this year in Macau (details). If not, there's no shame in riding the pine until something better comes along.
For complete results and live play-by-play from UFC 174 click here. Fallout, reactions, videos, and more can be located in our "Johnson vs. Bagautinov" live story stream right here.