Rory MacDonald will not challenge for the UFC’s welterweight belt in his next scrap after all, and “Ares” doesn’t sound very happy about it.
Following MacDonald’s impressive, stoppage win over Tarec Saffiedine in October, UFC boss man Dana White announced that the Canadian was “next in line.” The victory followed MacDonald’s victories over contenders in Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia, which also drew considerable praise.
But, after Robbie Lawler worked his way to a split decision victory over Johny Hendricks in December, the promotion decided to go with Lawler-Hendricks III next.
Of course, anyone who has followed MMA for a little while, knows that this sort of thing has happened in the past. Thus, this is why MacDonald relayed the following on the latest edition of “The MMA Hour” (quote via MMA Fighting.com):
“I was a little bit heartbroken,” MacDonald said. “But it’s okay. Even when I first heard the news that I was promised I was going to get the next title shot, I was skeptical. You can’t always believe what you hear. Things change so often in this sport, you’d be a fool if you believed everything that came out. So I’m not surprised that it happened. But I was pretty sad about it.”
MacDonald did go on to add, however, that he didn’t see Lawler-Hendricks III coming, since he thought Lawler won the bout “pretty clearly”. The 25 year-old also said that there are some “issues” with how the UFC hands out title shots, but noted he’s not in the promotion’s “shoes either.”
So, is MacDonald bitter about how things have unfolded? In terms of his title shot run?
“A little bit, you know? It makes me a little bit bitter about the situation, and probably makes me think about it in a little bit of a negative light. But you know, I’m a little bit pissed off and that’s how I’m dealing with it,” MacDonald said.
Even if you’re stoked to see Lawler-Hendricks III, it’s pretty hard to not feel for MacDonald regarding all this. The good / selfish news for MMA fans is that it looks like MacDonald will throw down with Hector Lombard next. That fight could be fantastic, and if MacDonald wins, then he’ll surely be a lock for a title shot….right?
MacDonald-Lombard is expected to go down on April 25th at UFC 186. The date for Lawler-Hendricks III has yet to be determined.