Althought Rory MacDonald had won five straight fights, and was within reach of a title shot when he battled Robbie Lawler for the first time, the welterweight says his motivation was lacking.
Lawler and MacDonald fought back in November, 2013, and at the time, the latter was coming off a UD win over fellow contender Jake Ellenberger. MacDonald was so close to a title shot, in fact, the Canadian was inundated with questions about whether he’d fight his buddy, Georges St. Pierre.
Well, MacDonald ended up losing to Lawler by split decision at UFC 167, and now, less than two years later, he’ll face the now reigning champ on July 11th. The Tristar fighter recently spoke to MMA Junkie.com, and while discussing his mindset leading up to their first bout, MacDonald stated:
“I had a couple things in training and my body wasn’t feeling good; I just lost motivation,” MacDonald said. “I couldn’t train as hard as I usually did and the injury kind of made me not focused. It just made me not into it. I think it was just my hunger was not there. I wasn’t really into the fight at that point.
“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.”
It’s interesting to hear MacDonald say this, as not long ago, his coach Firas Zahabi relayed that some people in the fighter’s entourage were “underestimating” Lawler when they first met. Considering what Lawler has done since 2013, one would think that won’t be happening this time around.
It’s going to be an interesting fight, no question.
UFC 189 will be hosted by the MGM Grand Garden Arena, and will also feature Conor McGregor versus Chad Mendes for the interim featherweight title.