UFC welterweight prospect Rory MacDonald might not be facing the biggest name of his career in Che Mills at UFC 145, but it's the first time he's been in the co-main event and that comes with a lot of extra responsibility. MacDonald penned a blog on Sportsnet.ca where he talked about the extra duties involved in a high-profile fight, and how he prepares for stepping into the octagon.
First, he gives a glimpse into what's required of him on fight week after the jump:
In terms of my schedule this week, I mainly have UFC obligations to take care of, including media interviews, press conferences and so on, all stuff I am happy to do. Then I'll train once a day, usually late, just to keep me sharp and keep my heart rate up. I'll also be keeping a close watch on my diet during this time, as the weigh-in takes place on Friday.
When you put all of that together -- the media obligations, the training and the weight cut -- there really isn't that much time left for downtime or sightseeing. Your mind is constantly occupied and there is always something to do or think about.
He then goes on to discuss how he handles fight day, and gives some insight on what goes through his head as he heads towards the cage:
When I'm actually walking to the Octagon on fight night, my focus becomes more intense and I'm thinking more about specific techniques and moves I plan to use. Everything becomes more defined and accurate at this stage. Rather than just a fight, it becomes a test of technique, and I'm strategizing, going over in my head what tricks I can use to get the better of my opponent as quickly as possible.
There won't be any negativity in my head at this point. No doubt, anxiety or fear. I don't allow any of that stuff to enter my head. If anything, this is the most confident and self-assured I have ever been in my life. You have to be, moments before you step in the Octagon and fight. You have no other choice.
Maybe it's just me, but that seems like a remarkably mature outlook on fighting for a dude that's 21. Perhaps that's why he's one of the best welterweight fighters in the world at such a young age. You can catch the rest of the blog here.