In the PPV opener, Rory MacDonald continued his rise up the Welterweight ranks by defeating veteran Mike Pyle. The 22 year old MacDonald is beginning to pick up a lot of hype, including Joe Rogan saying he could ultimately be better than Georges St. Pierre. MacDonald is now 3-1 in the UFC, 12-1 overall, with his only loss a close contest against Carlos Condit. Pyle drops to 4-3 in the UFC and sees his 3 fight win streak end.
The fight was another strong performance from MacDonald. Though it may have lacked some of the fireworks of his UFC 129 win over Nate Diaz, it was an impressive display of domination over a skilled veteran in Pyle. MacDonald ended the fight just under 4 minutes into round 1 with ground and pound. Hopefully, his next fight will receive a strong promotional push.
What was the high spot of this fight?
It was an all around solid showing, with the punches MacDonald used to end it standing out.
Where do these guys go from here?
MacDonald is young, and still relatively early in his career, but I think it's time to begin moving him into some deeper waters. Maybe not a Jon Fitch type, but he would make an excellent opponent for one of the many welterweights bubbling under the surface right now - Charlie Brenneman, Rick Story, Jake Shields, Jake Ellenberger, Johny Hendricks - there are a lot of options for MacDonald, and where the UFC places him next will say a lot about his future.
Pyle is a solid veteran who should remain on the roster as a good challenge for young fighters. I'd love to see him against Carlos Eduardo Rocha as a good test for Rocha.
Watch it now, later, or never?
Now. MacDonald may very well be the future of the division, so it's time to start paying attention.
More BE coverage of UFC 133 in the full entry.