Although some casual fans may disagree, but what Rory MacDonald did to Tarec Saffiedine at UFC Fight Night 54 on Saturday was pretty, pretty impressive. Not only did MacDonald become the first man to stop the former Strikeforce champ, but he did so while playing Saffiedine’s game…striking.
Heading into the bout, more than a few people believed MacDonald’s path to victory would come by taking the renowned striker down, but instead, the Tristar fighter did so with a beautiful left uppercut in round three. Speaking after the fight, Saffiedine had nothing but praise for MacDonald and what he accomplished (quote via MMA Junkie.com):
“I don’t really have an excuse,” Saffiedine said. “I came prepared, I had a good camp and I was mentally ready and physically ready. I guess Rory did a good job. He imposed his will and his game plan.”
“Those things happen and I just got to go back to the gym and train harder for the next fight,” the Belgian fighter furthered. “That’s it. I took a loss tonight and I’ve got to come back stronger.”
While MacDonald has almost certainly locked up a title shot, it will be interesting to see what the UFC decides to do with Saffiedine. The latter had won five straight fights heading into the bout.
UFC FN 54 was hosted by the Halifax Forum in Halifax, Nova Scotia.