The word prospect gets thrown around a lot in the world of mixed martial arts, but how do you get such a title? What does it take to become a prospect? How about a 9-0 professional mixed martial arts record? How about if in those nine fights, not a single one went to a decision? What about if in those finishes, a well rounded game was on display with five submissions and four knock-out finishes?
British Columbia’s Rory MacDonald is the embodiment of a prospect. At 14 years of age he began training with Team Toshido and at only 16 years of age he made his professional mixed martial arts debut. What were you doing at 16 years of age? High School? Partying? Bet it wasn’t cage fighting.
In the last four years MacDonald has made his name both in Canada and the United States through the King of the Cage organizations. At 18 years of age, MacDonald held both the Canadian Lightweight and World Lightweight Championships.
Now at the ripe young age of 20, MacDonald is about to take the big leap. At Ultimate Fight Night 20, he will make his UFC debut against 11-2 veteran Mike “Joker” Guymon.
So what can you expect from Rory MacDonald? Expect someone who comes out with the intention to excite. Fans love a fighter who finishes fights and if MacDonald can repeat his past success than this fight should be nothing less than fantastic. It takes a certain amount of confidence and heart to finish nine straight fights against competitors significantly older than yourself.
You only get one chance to make a first impression, and MacDonald needs to take advantage of that. A successful performance could get Rory on the telecast and get his name known among casual fans. On the other hand a mediocre or dismal performance could relegate him to preliminary fights for the rest of his four fight contract.
At such a young age, will Rory MacDonald succumb to the pressure of being Canada’s top young prospect? Or will he have the rare maturity and concentration it takes to flush out the butterflies that come with octagon debuts? Only time can tell.