You can't say Rory MacDonald isn't game.
After hearing that his bout against Hector Lombard had been scratched from the UFC 186 event on April 25, 2015 in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, after it was discovered "Showeather" had been popped for steroids for his previous fight, Rory was still ready to compete.
That's according to his head trainer and leader of TriStar Gym, Firas Zahabi, who told MMA Junkie that his star pupil would've still went on with the bout had Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) officials allowed him to.
"It matters, of course. Rory would rather both athletes get randomly tested. No funny business – it’s just a fair fight. But even if it wasn’t the case where a test was random and it was done before, Rory is still going to fight."
With Hector out of the picture, Zahabi sees it as one less contender for Rory to get to the title. But, that now leaves the Canadian star with no opponent and with all of the top contenders tied up at the moment, finding a suitable foe will be a tough task.
"Hector's out of the picture. I think Rory is in good standing in a way, because he's been promised a title shot twice, and he's proven himself already. Who else could do a title fight right now? (Kelvin) Gastelum lost. He could have been a fresh new face. It would be tough. Unless something really happens between (Johny) Hendricks and (Matt) Brown, something really impressive, it's still up for grabs."
For Zahabi, it would be ideal if Rory received the next crack at the title pending the outcome of Matt Brown's fight against Johny Hendricks at UFC 185 next month (details), but reiterated that he is more than willing to fight his way to the top if needed.
"That would be great if it could work out that way. But at the end of the day, he's going to have to fight his way to the top, and he's ready to do that. I think he would still fight Hector. But obviously, (he can't) if (Hector) gets suspended, which I'm sure is going to happen, because that's why they pulled the fight."
For now, Lombard has another fight on his hands, as he is set to appear in front of the Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) -- along with Anderson Silva and Nick Diaz -- on Feb. 17, 2015 to decide his fighting future.
A future that will without a doubt be under the microscope, according to Firas, as his -- and any other fighter popped for performance enhancing drugs (PED) -- wins from here on out will always be questioned.