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UFC 189's Rory MacDonald admits he mailed it in against Robbie Lawler in their first fight

"Canadian Psycho" is more than ready for his second shot at "Ruthless" as the two fight for UFC's welterweight strap next weekend after previously competing against each other at UFC 167 in Nov. 2013.

Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

As the mixed martial arts (MMA) universe witnessed on the colossal lead-up to the now-defunct UFC 189 title fight between injured champion Jose Aldo and No. 1 contender Conor McGregor, the mental game is just as important as the physical one.

Robbie Lawler will defend his Welterweight strap against Canadian stalwart Rory MacDonald in a rematch of their UFC 167 bout in the co-main event of UFC 189 inside MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas, Nevada (Sat., July 11, 2015).

And it appears the humble champ is ready to "reap all the benefits" of having all eyes on him.

Although it is safe to say that "Notorious" and new opponent Chad Mendes, who will battle it out for the interim 145-pound title in the coming week, have taken top billing much of the way, "Ruthless" and the "Canadian Psycho" are duking it out for a belt that has changed hands twice in the last year.

In Nov. 2013, inside the very same venue, Lawler and MacDonald participated in a hard-fought, co-main event spot that would give the winner a shot at the 170-pound crown. At the end of the close, 15-minute exchange the judges favored "Ruthless," who was on his way to completing a career-turnaround in his second-stint with UFC.

The 25-year-old MacDonald, who has suffered from a litany of injuries throughout his Octagon run, competed in "Sin City" on a bum ankle. Because of the severity of the injury, his mind was not completely focused on dispatching of his hard-hitting foe.

"Before that fight I was like, ‘Oh, I just kind of want this to be over.’ I wasn’t really interested in fighting. I just wanted to get it over and done with and just relax," MacDonald told MMAjunkie.

The stout Canadian has pulled out of five tilts during his UFC tenure, but more than made up for his inactivity through one-sided dismissals of Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine in 2014 -- all Top 10-ranked Welterweight contenders at the time of fighting.

Meanwhile, Lawler fought four times in 2014, which included two 25-minute title fights against Johny Hendricks. The 33-year-old totaled 88 minutes of Octagon time. After snatching the title from "Bigg Rigg" in a hotly-contested showing in Dec. 2014, Lawler took a well-deserved break from competition.

MacDonald's striking prowess, let alone his total MMA package, has grown leaps and bounds since his initial encounter with Lawler. MacDonald's path to a title was cleared on the same night, at UFC 167, when former pound-for-pound great and teammate Georges St-Pierre retired from the sport of MMA.

Now, he sits on the brink of fulfilling the loads of praise doled out to him by fans, as well as making good on the title that was bestowed upon him by media since his UFC arrival -- the welterweight division's next big thing.

"The difference is this time I want to fight; I’m looking forward to being in there and having the blood on my face and being in the heat of battle," MacDonald said. "I don’t think he’s as dynamic in his skills than me, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a hard fight."

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