Photo by Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
In the semi-main event at UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans, two fighters billed as the future of the Welterweight division squared off. In the end, as expected, Rory MacDonald had little trouble dispatching of Che Mills. MacDonald ended the fight in the 2nd round via strikes on the ground. MacDonald is now 13-1 and on a 3 fight win streak, with his only loss coming against champion Carlos Condit. Mills drops to 14-5, 1-1 in the UFC.
Despite the promotion, this fight was clearly set up as a gimme for MacDonald, and that's how it played out. Mills had a bit of success early on, but the young Canadian fighter survived that early stand-up attack and quickly took control. From there, he methodically broke Mills down, controlling him on the mat. In round 2, he took dominant position, brought down the ground and pound, and that was it. Impressive work from MacDonald.
What was the high spot of this fight?
Pretty much the entire 2nd round. It was a great display of methodical ground control from MacDonald, and how to use control to build to a finish.
Where do these guys go from here?
MacDonald is riding a huge wave of hype, and rightly so. But it's time for him to step up and face a top 10 opponent. Based on the upcoming schedule, I'd like to see him against Jake Shields, which would both be a great test for MacDonald, and also an interesting question - would he do what GSP didn't and stop Shields?
Mills may have lost, but it wasn't terrible for him. He was clearly fighting above his level here and was not yet ready for this. Bring him back down to let him develop more outside of the top 25. I'd love to see him against Stephen Thompson next.
Watch it now, later or never?
Now. Rory MacDonald is something special, and it's time to watch him if you aren't already.
More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans in the full entry.