Daniel Cormier and Kenny Florian offered up thoughts on tonight’s main event at UFC Fight Night 54 between Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine. The main card, which takes place from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, airs on FOX Sports 1 beginning at 10 p.m. ET.
MacDonald is currently ranked second in the welterweight division, just behind champion Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. With those two set to square off in December, MacDonald is in a prime position to be the next contender.
Saffiedine enters off his first UFC win, having topped Hyun Gyu Lim in January. The former Strikeforce champion is No. 9 in the latest poll.
“He needs to use his kick boxing. I wouldn’t say he should stay at range against Rory,” Cormier said. “He needs to get on his legs and fight where he’s comfortable. He’s a very smart fighter. Rory will try to take him down, so he needs to defend the takedowns, and make Rory stand with him.
“He’s a very talented kickboxer. If Saffiedine can make Rory MacDonald stand with him, he’s got a chance at the upset.”
Florian, meanwhile, feels there is a key area MacDonald needs to focus on to earn the win.
“He’s very dangerous with the jab. He’s at his best when he’s using his variety of strikes and mixing in his takedowns,” he said. “He needs to move forward and back Saffiedine up so he can’t utilize his leg kicks like he usually does.”
Check back later tonight for coverage of UFC Fight Night 54.