Photo by Esther Lin for MMA Fighting
In a Welterweight clash at UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans, Rory MacDonald (12-1, 3-1 UFC) meets Che Mills (14-4(1); 1-0 UFC). This is the semi-main event of the evening. MacDonald is currently ranked as the #12 Welterweight in the world according to the USA TODAY / MMA Nation Consensus MMA Rankings, while Mills is unranked. The PPV card begins Saturday, April 21 at 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT.
The UFC promotion for this fight has built it up as a battle between two future stars of the company. That kind of build is accurate for MacDonald, who has looked stellar in his latest fights. But for Mills, who is only in his 2nd UFC fight, it feels a bit exaggerated. This is definitely a fight between two rising talents - but the gap between MacDonald and Mills at the moment is pretty significant.
How do these two stack up?
MacDonald: 22 years old | 6'0" | 76.5" reach
Mills: 29 years old | 6'0"
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Canada's Rory MacDonald has quickly climbed the ranks of the Welterweight division since his UFC debut in 2010. After a loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 115 (in a fight where MacDonald had the future champ in some real trouble), MacDonald came back strong with an absolute domination over Nate Diaz. He looked good again against Pyle, but has been sidelined with injury since that August win. A training partner of Georges St. Pierre at TriStar Gym, MacDonald already has received a lot of comparisons to his pound for pound great teammate. He's one of the most hyped UFC fighters right now, which means he has a lot to live up to every time he fights.
Che Mills is an English fighter who made his official UFC debut last year, defeating Chris Cope in a 40 second KO of the Night performance at UFC 138. He also made an appearance on season 9 of The Ultimate Fighter, losing in the qualifying round. Mills has made his name fighting mainly in the UK for organizations like Cage Rage and Bamma, where he holds wins over Marius Zaromskis and Jake Hecht. He's currently on a 5 fight win streak.
Why should you care?
With due respect to Mills, you should care because the hype about MacDonald is true - this 21 year old could indeed be the future of the Welterweight division. If you haven't already, get on board now. And if Mills pulls off the upset? Then he inherits that momentum and hype.
More UFC 145 preview coverage from Bloody Elbow after the jump.