Fighter of the Month February 2014 – Rory MacDonald
By Christopher Jester
Fighter of the Month: Rory MacDonald
Event: UFC 170 (February 22, 2014)
Opponent: Demian Maia
Result: Unanimous Decision (29-28 – all three judges)
Some would say that Rory MacDonald was exposed in his last outing against Robbie Lawler. Some are more inclined to think that loss was a learning lesson for the young superstar. It appears that was just the case as MacDonald returned to his winning ways against a very tough and dangerous Demian Maia.
The victory did not come easy as MacDonald struggled in the first round with Maia’s takedowns and positioning. Surviving the first round against a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt is a feat within itself but MacDonald displayed his warrior spirit by correcting those mistakes in the second and third round.
The latter rounds saw MacDonald mitigate those vulnerabilities in his game. By keeping the fight standing up, MacDonald was able to implement his game plan better by keeping away from Maia’s takedowns. Peppering him with shots while staying loose on the feet helped the younger fighter to win the second round.
Although there was some worry in the third round with a takedown by Maia, MacDonald was able to get back to his feet where he continued to use his jab to keep the fight where he wanted it – away from the ground at all costs.
It was just the type of performance MacDonald needed to correct the ship. Now all he has to do is watch the vacant UFC championship bout between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler. He may very await as the next challenger.
Congratulations Rory MacDonald. For your victory and great performance PunchDrunkGamer.com would like to award you as our Fighter of the Month for February!
1. Erick Silva (UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi – February 15, 2014) – Silva completely outclassed Takenori Sato. Sato could not land one strike on Erick Silva. Silva only needed 52 seconds to toast Sato. Never give this fighter a chance to finish a fight, and you might not want to hold onto a takedown while someone is slamming Donkey Kong punches to your head either. Just a thought for next time Sato.
2. Abel Trujillo (UFC 169 – February 1, 2014) – What a wild and crazy fight Abel Trujillo and Jamie Varner put on. It is truly one of the best fights of the year and surefire candidate for Fight of the Year and Knockout of the Year. The two traded often and early with both fighters getting rocked on multiple occasions throughout the fight. However, Trujillo aggressive violent nature persevered as he was able to catch Varner and secure one crazy KO victory.
3. Lyoto Machida (UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi – February 15, 2014) – Machida displayed why he is a master in the cage. His style is so elusive and beautiful to watch. With the possibility of a fight ending with one of his no-nonsense blitzes, Machida is a threat everywhere. He nearly put Mousasi to sleep with a head kick but Mousasi showed why he is so tough. Machida instead put on a performance that eventually earned him a shot against middleweight champion Chris Weidman.
4. Charles Oliveira (UFC Fight Night: Machida vs. Mousasi – February 15, 2014) – Oliveira needed this win. But it was this performance that demonstrated that Oliveira is still one of the best prospects out there. Tightening up his striking and always dangerous on the ground, Oliveira still showed that he is pure raw talent. His submission of Andy Ogle via triangle choke proved just that.
5. Daniel Cormier (UFC 170 – February 22, 2014) – DC would be fighter of the month if there was a weight cut category, but since there is no such thing Cormier deserved this place on the list because he completely dismantled Patrick Cummins. He said he would lose the weight, but very few thought he could be even better at 205lb. He is and he is a legitimate threat in his new weight class.
Follow Christopher “sLapDatSuCKa” Jester on Twitter @sLapDatSuCka
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