People are starting to wonder just how good Rory MacDonald can be in his mixed martial arts career. The potential he has as a fighter is a scary concept to foresee. In wondering that I think we sometimes overlook the moment, and my question is, just how good is Rory MacDonald right now?
In my humble opinion, at 22 years old and only three fights in to his UFC career, Rory MacDonald is already on the cusp of the welterweight top 10 and in full pursuit of top-five status before the end of 2012.
Many Canadian fight fans including myself started to take notice of Rory in 2006 when he won the King of the Cage Canada lightweight title with a TKO over the more experienced Kajan Johnson. He then won the KOTC world title against Clay French and I knew he was destined to go to the UFC.
MacDonald continued to dominate his fights and go undefeated in the next year and a half before the UFC came calling in 2010.
Rory lives in Montreal and trains at the Tristar gym with UFC welterweight champion George St. Pierre and is notorious for giving his partners all they can handle in training. I have always been under the opinion that you are only as good as who you have fought and beaten and I was extremely worried when the UFC matched MacDonald up against The Natural Born Killer Carlos Condit in only his second fight in the UFC in June 2010 in his home province of British Columbia.
The Condit fight was where I saw just how good Rory MacDonald is as a fighter and at the ripe age of 22 years old he can only get better from here. Granted, Condit took MacDonald lightly and started slowly, but MacDonald came out and beat him in striking and wrestling for a good two rounds before Condit woke up and beat him senseless in the third. It was the true arrival of Rory.
He reminds me of GSP in a sense that it is the technical prowess of his skill and the way he mixes it all together that usually spells doom to whoever is standing across from him.
MacDonald absolutely dominated a very high level fighter in Nate Diaz in his last outing in April. I believe he will dominate Mike Pyle tomorrow night in Philly and stamp his arrival in the top 10 of the division for the first time in his short career.
A fight with a legit top ten fighter should come to Rory before the end of the year. How about Josh Koscheck or Rick Story?
Dwight Wakabayashi is a Feature Columnist for Bleacher Report MMA (also a correspondent for MMACanada.net).