UFC 167 fight card primer: Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Bloody Elbow presents its UFC 167: St. Pierre vs Hendricks fight card primer, previewing all the action at this weekend's UFC 167 event live on PPV. Here, we look at Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler.

UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks sees more action in the UFC Welterweight division as Rory MacDonald (15-1 MMA; 6-1 UFC) faces Robbie Lawler (21-9 1 NC MMA; 6-3 UFC). This is the third of five main card PPV fights. The UFC Rankings have MacDonald as the #3 contender, with Lawler just inside the rankings at #10. UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks airs live from Las Vegas this Saturday, November 16 on PPV with a fight time of 10 p.m. ET / 7 p.m. PT for the main card.

This is one of a number of notable 170-pound fights on this card. It's also a fight that could have title picture ramifications, though that largely depends on the result in the main event. MacDonald has started to serve as something of a gatekeeper to the champion. Here he'll try to squash the late-career championship dreams of Lawler. If they push the pace, look for this to be an exciting fight. But if MacDonald slows it down, it could be a snore.

How do these two stack up?

MacDonald: 24 years old | 6'0" | 77" reach
Lawler: 31 years old | 5'11" | 74" reach

What have these two done recently?

MacDonald: W - Jake Ellenberger (UD) | W - B.J. Penn (UD) | W - Che Mills (TKO)
Lawler: W - Bobby Voelker (KO) | W - Josh Koscheck (TKO) | L - Lorenz Larkin (UD)

How did these two get here?

Rory MacDonald has been hailed as the next big thing in the welterweight division for some time. The biggest obstacle for him to achieve that status is the champion - GSP is a training partner to MacDonald at Tristar Gym, and the two are unlikely to fight for the title. As a result, MacDonald is in a bit of an odd position, spoiling potential title fights without setting up his own challenge. A very well-rounded fighter, MacDonald has drawn the ire of some fans for his more conservative performances lately. He's also found himself struggling with injuries and postponing recent fights. Still, a healthy MacDonald is indeed one of the best welterweights in the world.

More Bloody Elbow coverage of UFC 167

"Ruthless" Robbie Lawler started his UFC career back in 2002 when he was the brash young prodigy. After a UFC release and a lengthy and successful career in Elite XC, Strikeforce, and many other organizations, he returned early this year. He's 2-0 since that return, with both wins showing off his explosive KO power. Lawler has evolved into a more patient, crafty veteran of the game, though he still clearly packs that dynamite power. The last time he strung together back to back wins was 2007 - can he keep this late career resurgence going with the upset tonight?

Why should you care?

Lawler's power makes his fights inherently exciting - will the KO come? And if so, when? If it doesn't, it will be because of another impressive technical outing from MacDonald. Let's just hope it's a more exciting fight than his last.

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