Heading into UFC 167, Welterweight Rory MacDonald was on a significant win streak sporting 5 consecutive wins inside the Octagon. Following a clear but lackluster decision win over Jake Ellenberger in his previous fight, "Ares" was a heavy favorite against Robbie Lawler. "Ruthless" took the fight to MacDonald even having him badly hurt in the final round to take a split decision victory. The fight put Lawler on the map as a possible contender while dropping Rory out of title discussions.
With a couple weeks to reflect on only the second loss of his MMA career, Rory told The MMA Hour that he needed the loss to rekindle his motivation:
"I needed it," a candid MacDonald admitted on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour.
"I think it's a collection of things, it's been leading up to (this). I think it's just my mental state, the way I've been thinking leading up to fights. I've been more interested in after the fight, rather than getting into the fight.
"My fights before," he continued, "The most exciting point for me was actually getting into the fight. I was hungry. I wanted to destroy my opponents, and I was hungry. I had that fire in me to fight. I think it shows in both of my performances this year, that I didn't have that fire."
MacDonald went on to explain that he wasn't having '"fun" any more in either his fights with Lawler and Ellenberger. He said he was no longer "expressing himself" like "an artist painting a picture" in those two fights. He continued:
"Everything was coming very easy for me the last three years since losing to Carlos (Condit). The fights were going very smoothly, and I just felt like, wow, it's becoming very easy. So I kind of let my guard down a bit," he said.
"I needed to lose. I needed to get into a hard fight. I'm very motivated, more than ever now. I'm very hungry. I feel like I have that fire back."
As far as his return, the former "Water Boy" said he's all set for a quick return and that the fight announcement should be coming soon. Ex-Bellator champion Ben Askren challenged him after UFC 167. Askren currently isn't signed with the UFC, but was scheduled to meet with the brass on Monday. If he gets a contract out of the meeting, this fight would make a lot of sense for both fighters.