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What's Next for Rory MacDonald After UFC on Fox 8 Victory?

Rory MacDonald defeated Jake Ellenberger by decision on Saturday night. What's next?
Rory MacDonald defeated Jake Ellenberger by decision on Saturday night. What's next?Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor
Andrew SaundersCorrespondent IIDecember 28, 2016

Canadian phenom Rory MacDonald added another win to the pile on Saturday night when he picked up a unanimous decision against Jake Ellenberger at UFC on Fox 8.

However, due to the boring nature of the fight, it is likely that the impressive game plan of MacDonald will go overlooked by fans. 

Abandoning the showboating style utilized last December, MacDonald focused on implementing an effective jab and excellent footwork from bell to bell. The tactics seemed to confuse Ellenberger, who was uncharacteristically docile during the affair.

What is next for MacDonald, who now holds a UFC record of 6-1?

 

Challenging for UFC gold

As the No. 3 contender in the welterweight division, many would suggest that MacDonald earned himself a crack at gold. However, due to a friendship with champion Georges St-Pierre, MacDonald recently told the New York Post that the matchup will not happen.

"No, me and Georges aren’t fighting," MacDonald said. "When we get to that point, me and Georges and our coaches, we’ll come to a solution. When we get to the road, we’ll cross it. We’re not gonna fight."

UFC president Dana White seems to disagree with the notion that MacDonald doesn't want the matchup. After all, Jon Jones made the same claim about teammate Rashad Evans in 2011. In mid-2012, the two collided in one of the year's biggest events.

Would MacDonald be willing to face St-Pierre if it meant potentially losing his training camp and relationship with the world's greatest welterweight? Probably not, but stranger things have happened.

 

The Maia Factor

If GSP defeats challenger Johny Hendricks in November and MacDonald refuses a title shot, the welterweight division will be out of worthy contenders. Demian Maia is the next man in line who has momentum on his side, but he has yet to defeat a Top Five opponent.

Maia vs. MacDonald makes sense on a lot of levels. However, should Maia come up short, that would leave the division without a willing contender for the spring. 

 

A Ruthless Option

"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler was also in action on Saturday night. For the second time in as many bouts, Lawler walked away with a knockout victory. With commentator Joe Rogan calling the former Elite XC champion a dark-horse contender in the welterweight division, the 12-year veteran is in need of a highly ranked opponent.

MacDonald vs. Lawler doesn't have the same appeal as the other bookings. That being said, it allows MacDonald to fight a ranked opponent without going against his word or his teammate.

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