The welterweight freight train that is Rory MacDonald picked up even more steam this past Saturday night with his quick knockout win over cagey veteran Mike Pyle. The buzz on MacDonald has been extremely strong in 2011 and rightly so. He looks like he is ready to take the next step up in his next fight later this year.
MacDonald has already mentioned that he really wants a rematch with Carlos Condit down the line to make his one loss in the UFC right. Many people believe that MacDonald is ready for a step up, but the debate now is how big should that jump up be?
Here are 5 Fights Rory MacDonald Should Take Next.
There seems to be a sentiment that Rory MacDonald needs to make a one-fight stop in the second tier of welterweight title contenders before he really gets a shot at the first.
While I whole-heartedly disagree based on his fight with top five contender Carlos Condit, I have this fight with "The Spaniard" Charlie Brenneman in this slot to satisfy that sentiment. He is set to take on Anthony "Rumble" Johnson on October 1st and win or lose, it may be tough for Brenneman to turn around and fight when MacDonald is expected to fight next in December.
I think Brenneman's freestyle wrestling style would be a challenge for MacDonald, although I think the result would be a MacDonald victory.
Dong Hyun "Stun Gun" Kim and Rory MacDonald have a couple things in common. They both have one loss on their fighting record and they have both lost to welterweight top contender Carlos Condit.
Granted, MacDonald went ten seconds short of the distance and Kim was knocked out spectacularly in the first round but I do believe that this fight would really show whether MacDonald is ready for the top in the division.
Again, I do feel that MacDonald will win this fight in dominant fashion and show that he really is ready for the top of the food chain.
Rick Story has stormed onto the UFC scene this year with his upset win over Thiago Alves and has put him in place as another welterweight up and comer. Of course, we all know now that he lost his next fight to Brenneman in a quick turnaround.
Like MacDonald, Story is young and solid in his place as a true future contender and why not sort it out a bit by having these two young guns meet up.
The UFC might want to save this one and have these two climb a parallel ladder up to contention in thier careers, but this fight does make sense if you feel neither of these guys are ready for the top just yet.
Where has the mouth of mixed martial arts Josh Koscheck gone these days since his brutal loss to Georges St-Pierre in December of 2010? He did have to recover from a broken orbital bone after that loss but should be fully healed now.
The timing is perfect for Rory to be on the UFC 140 card in Toronto in December and Koscheck is enemy No. 1 in Canada based on his stint opposite Georges St-Pierre on the TUF show and their fight in 2010.
Koscheck needs a fight and may feel like Rory is not worthy of a shot at him but I would pick MacDonald in this fight.
Jon Fitch is a top five welterweight in the UFC and is currently looking for a second title shot he feels he so deserves. He is also coming off fighting BJ Penn, a legend in this sport. While it may seem like there are so many other guys for him to face next in his career, he needs to seriously consider his options right now.
He is notorious for getting overlooked by the top matchmakers of the UFC and he makes no bones about his resentment in that. But his selective approach and inactivity are not doing him any favors with the UFC right now and he could very well find himself as a gatekeeper fighter soon.
the UFC holds the hammer and Fitch may be disappointed to see how they swing it if they match him up against MacDonald. Maybe Fitch would unleash all his frustrations out on the youngster but it would test MacDonald like I think he needs to be tested.
On Saturday, MacDonald smashed the only man to ever submit Jon Fitch, Mike Pyle. It was along time ago in fight terms but this matchup would be closer than most think.
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Feature Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA (also a correspondent for MMACanada.net)
Catch him on Twitter @wakafightermma