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Rory MacDonald Thought Demian Maia, Not Tyron Woodley Would Get Next Title Shot

Kelsey Mowatt

Demian Maia

Following Demian Maia’s submission win over Matt Brown at UFC 198, the welterweight campaigned for a title shot, and Rory MacDonald thought his former foe was going to get it.

The victory was Maia’s fifth straight, since he was decisioned by MacDonald back in 2014. Since then the grapping god has cruised through Alexander Yakovlev, Ryan LaFlare, Neil Magny, Gunnar Nelson and Brown.

As you know, however, Maia’s title shot hasn’t been booked yet, as Tyron Woodley will face the champ Robbie Lawler on July 30th. Recently MacDonald spoke to MMA Junkie.com, and while discussing Woodley’s title shot, the #1 contender stated the following:

“I thought they were going to give it to Demian Maia,” MacDonald said. “I was a bit surprised that Woodley got it. But the champ needs to stay busy, wants to fight, and Woodley was patiently waiting. He was ready. It’s how it plays out. Sometimes it’s not always the rightful guy gets the shot. You look at boxing, they have like tune-up fights in between their title fights. They’re not always fighting the No. 1 guy year around.

“…Woodley’s a good challenge. I’m not saying it’s not going to be a good fight, I just would have expected Demian to be the next guy because of his success.”

MacDonald isn’t the only one who was surprised by the UFC’s decision to go with Woodley, as the latter hasn’t fought since January, 2015, when he decisioned Kelvin Gastelum. But, the UFC did promise Woodley a shot when his bout with Johny Hendricks fell through last fall, so, here we are.

MacDonald, meanwhile, is scheduled to face Stephen Thompson at UFC FN 89 on June 18th. That’s a compelling scrap from a stylistic and rankings perspective. It’s also the last bout on MacDonald’s current UFC deal.

The card will take place in Ottawa, Ontario.

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