Rory MacDonald is next in line for a welterweight title shot. | Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Rory MacDonald’s third-round technical knockout victory over Tarec Saffiedine at UFC Fight in Halifax has vaulted the Canadian welterweight to No. 1 contender status.
UFC President Dana White told the Canadian Press that the Tristar Gym standout will face the winner of the UFC 181 bout between Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler sometime next year. MacDonald has won three straight fights and eight of his last nine overall inside the Octagon. His only two losses within the Las Vegas-based promotion have come at the hands of Lawler and Carlos Condit.
“It’s pretty impossible to deny Rory that, whoever comes out of that Lawler-Hendricks fight, he’s the next guy in line,” White said.
Perhaps more importantly, MacDonald will receive that opportunity on home soil.
“[The fight will] absolutely, positively, without a doubt, be in Canada,” White said. “He’s next in line and the fight will be in Canada.”
It is currently unclear the exact date and venue for such a bout, although the promotion does have an event scheduled for Montreal in March. Much of that hinges on the health of the Hendricks-Lawler winner.
During his UFC tenure, MacDonald owns notable 170-pound triumphs over Nate Diaz, B.J. Penn, Jake Ellenberger, Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley. He became the first person to finish Saffiedine in the Belgian’s 19 pro fights last Saturday night.
"I have a lot of respect for Saffiedine," White said. "That’s guy’s tough to deal with. Rory just absolutely made him look like he didn’t belong there.”