Changing Of the Guards Part II

After an exciting night of fights from Seattle I wanted to follow up on my original article “Changing of the Guards”. We had a lot of questions answered, scores settled, and the guards have officially changed. Out with the old, in with the “new breed”. Rory Macdonald lived up to all the hype and looked absolutely fantastic at UFC on FOX 5. Although I did think he looked a little jittery right out of the gates, he settled in nicely. Got comfortable and began picking BJ Penn apart.

There were new aspects of his game that you can tell he’s been working on extensively. His combinations for one. Thunderous left hooks to the liver and ribs of BJ Penn that noticeably folded him in half (but, to his credit, did not knock him down). Mixed with a variety of elbows and high, low, and switch kicks that seemed to surprise Penn and keep him guessing. I would say the fight went according to plan for Macdonald, minus the finish.

So what’s next? For BJ Penn I wouldn’t be surprised if he decided to retire and focus on coaching and his family. With a growing number of children and his new partnership with the UFC gym and training facility in Hawaii it would make sense to hang it up. That being said, as a long-time fan of “The Prodigy”, I’d really like to see him make 1 more run at the lightweight division. After all, he was very dominant there until Frankie found the answer. Either way, Penn has had the career of a true hall of famer. With UFC titles at lightweight and welterweight he’s one of very few that have carried the belt in 2 weight classes. Whatever the future may hold for BJ “The Prodigy” Penn I would like to say thank you for all the action along the way.

For Rory Macdonald, on the other hand, the future is very bright. With a dominating win over a legendary name in MMA, he can probably take his pick of who he wants next (and he wasted no time in doing so). Immediately following his win over BJ Penn he called out the only man with a win over him in the octagon. A man that his training partner, friend, and mentor George St. Pierre just defended his title against. And a man he nearly beat back in 2010 at UFC 115. That man is Carlos “the Natural Born Killer” Condit. Now there are many possible opponents at 170lbs for Macdonald, but I can’t think of a better one than Carlos. If you saw their first fight I’m sure you agree. Rory dominated their first match for two rounds before Condit made one of the best comebacks I had ever seen.  That loss has haunted Rory for a couple of years now, and it’s time to get some revenge. It’s also another huge name in the welterweight division that would shoot him further up the rankings.

The challenge has been issued. Now we wait to see if Condit accepts. If so, I would just about guarantee Dana White will make that fight happen early next year. Maybe as soon as March, like Rory suggested. The stylistic match up would be a dream come true for fight fans and both men have a great deal more tools than they had the first time around. I think one of the biggest differences this time will be Rory Macdonald’s new approach and attitude towards his opponents, and the fight game in general. He has a calm, focused, somewhat eerie “Canadian Psycho” demeanor. He says things like, “I’m in there to hurt my opponents” and “I want to stack up bodies”. It seems that he’s well on his way and I think we’re all about to watch another young Canadian take over a division. As for a title fight with you-know-who, press asked Macdonald that same question recently and he responded, “I’ll cross that bridge when I get there”.

Questions

  1. Is Carlos Condit the best opponent for Rory MacDonald moving forward?
  2. If he beats Condit, how close to a title shot is he?
  3. Should the UFC match him with another top welterweight such as Kampmen, Ellenburger, Fitch, Shields?

I also read on twitter that Josh Koscheck is lobbying for the fight, so there is no shortage of great match ups going forward.

As usual if you want to comment, Chirp, Suggest new topics or have your say. Get at me on twitter @Derekgdcmma or at GDCMMA.com



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5 Comments

  1. Masato says:

    Am I the only one who can totally see Rory turning on Tristar to accept a fight with GSP a-la Bones/Rashad if given the chance?

  2. Derek says:

    I agree with the Condit fight for sure, as for GSP I think if Rory gets a few more key victories Dana will make the GSP fight happen.

  3. Shogun says:

    Rory MacDonald should fight Carlos Condit next, after he beats him he should be fighting for the title. But I doubt he would fight GSP because they are Tristar buddies.

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