After Rory MacDonald’s underwhelming victory over Jake Ellenberger on Saturday night people have been wondering what comes next for the rising star, and Dana White appears to already have the answer.
“Thinkin’ about doing Rory – Robbie Lawler,” White stated during an interview with Ariel Helwani on MMAFighting.com.
It’s easy to see why that’s the first fight that springs to mind for the UFC president. While MacDonald was criticized for a cautious approach that wasn’t considered entertaining, Lawler put on a show-stopping performance that ended with a typically violent finish from one of the sport’s hardest hitters.
White clearly believes that Lawler will take the fight to MacDonald, and hopefully bring out the best in a fighter who some have tipped to become a future champion of the welterweight division.
There’s a lot of hype behind Lawler now though after two impressive performance so far since dropping to 170lbs after a long spell out of the UFC, and so if he was to emerge victorious against MacDonald then it’s the kind of win that could propel him firmly into the title mix.
Lawler was actually asked at the weekend his opinion on MacDonald as a potential opponent and he was very complementary about the Canadian.
“He’s a stud,” Lalwer stated at the post-fight press conference. “He moves around really well, he’s strategic for sure.”
Having said that, whether it’s MacDonald or whoever else the UFC lines up for him next, Lawler’s confident the outcome will be the same regardless.
“I’m just going to go back to the drawing board and beat whoever is out there in front of me. I’m going to be ready to go, people are in trouble. Plain and simple.”
If the fight does happen it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Funnily enough, MacDonald might actually adopt a similar strategy to the one that displeased Dana White and many fans on Saturday night. After all, the reason he opted to work behind the jab for the majority of the fight was out of respect for Ellenberger’s heavy hands, and in Lawler he’s facing someone with and even more tried and tested ability to deliver the big KO.
The difference on this occasion however is that unlike Ellenberger, Lawler won’t “freeze” on the night and should offer up much more in the way of an offense threat than we saw in this past weekend’s rather dull co-main event.