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Rory MacDonald Confirmed As Next UFC Welterweight Title Contender

ufc 181

Rory MacDonald will get his wish. And it will happen in front of his hometown fans.

UFC president Dana White informed the Canadian Press that MacDonald will fight the winner of UFC 181’s main event between welterweight champion Johny Hendricks and No. 1 contender Robbie Lawler. While not confirming anything in regards to an exact location, White did say the fight would “absolutely, positively, without a doubt, be in Canada.”

Previously, officials mentioned a March event in Montreal, which would set up nicely for MacDonald against either Hendricks or Lawler.

After a win over former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine moved MacDonald’s record to 18-2 overall and 9-2 inside the Octagon, the 25-year-old asked for his shot at the belt. Previously, his Tristar Gym teammate, Georges St-Pierre, was blocking his path to gold.

“It’s pretty impossible to deny Rory that, whoever comes out of that Hendricks-Lawler fight, he’s the next guy in line,” White said. “I have a lot of respect for Saffiedine. That guy’s tough to deal with. Rory just absolutely made him look like he didn’t belong in there.”

MacDonald hasn’t lost since a split decision defeat last year to Lawler, defeating Saffiedine, Tyron Woodley and former middleweight No. 1 contender Demian Maia. Overall, he is 8-1 in his last nine fights.

All total, five previous Canadian fighters have competed for UFC titles. St-Pierre and Carlos Newton each won their championship matches, while Mark Hominick, Patrick Cote and Alexis Davis were upended.

FightLine will have complete coverage of the December title fight between Hendricks and Lawler, as the card also includes lightweight champion Anthony Pettis defending against Gilbert Melendez.