MacDonald set for 3rd UFC bout
When Kelowna mixed martial artist Rory MacDonald steps back into the UFC octagon this weekend he will be a more seasoned fighter than the one that suffered a stunning and vicious loss in his last UFC bout 10 months ago.
After the fight, a last-second loss to Carlos Condit in June, MacDonald had to undergo knee surgery and recover mentally from the defeat in a fight he was winning handily through two rounds.
"It was difficult," MacDonald told MMAfighting.com, of the loss to Condit. "It was really hard to deal with. I need to get in there again and win this fight to really get over it."
Once healthy the 21-year-old spent time training with Canadian champion Georges St. Pierre, who will also fight this weekend in UFC 129's main event.
Before the main event though, MacDonald will get his chance to get back in the winner's circle against another fighter with more fights under his belt.
Macdonald (10-1-0) will fight former Ultimate Fighter winner Nate Diaz (13-6-0) on Saturday as part of UFC 129 in Toronto.
"He's a dangerous fighter that I take very seriously," MacDonald said of Diaz on UFC.com.
MacDonald is in the midst of a five fight contract with the UFC. He opened with an impressive win but suffered a setback in a bout with Condit last June. In that bout MacDonald led handily until the third round when he suffered a TKO loss with just seven seconds remaining.
After recovering from knee surgery, MacDonald moved to Montreal to train at St. Pierre's gym to get ready for his return to the ring. He spent time with St. Pierre, taking in as much advice as he could.
"He teaches me a lot. Not only in the gym, as far as technique and game plan and all that stuff, which is very helpful, but he's a very good friend and he's helped me see how a champion trains, how he rebounds, and it's been a great help being around him," MacDonald said to MMAfighting.
MacDonald, who trains locally at Toshido MMA, said a lot of his training leading up to Saturday's return to the octagon was mental.
"I've been working on this for the last ten months," he said. "I've been working on it very consciously, and the time is now to see if it paid off. It's not just the [physical] training, but the mental training."
MacDonald's fight is not on the main UFC 129 card in Toronto but will be available for free as a feature undercard bout that will be shown on Spike TV beginning Saturday at 5 p.m.