Rory MacDonald’s UFC title shot will have to wait. | Photo: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com
Approximately two months ago, UFC President Dana White said that Rory MacDonald was the logical No. 1 contender in the welterweight division.
Even better, when the Tristar Gym standout received his title shot against the winner of the Johny Hendricks-Robbie Lawler rematch at UFC 181, the fight would likely be held in Canada, MacDonald’s home country.
“It’s pretty impossible to deny Rory that, whoever comes out of that Lawler-Hendricks fight, he’s the next guy in line,” White told the Canadian Press in October.
Apparently, plans have changed. According to a Wednesday report on “UFC Tonight,” MacDonald was informed by the promotion last week that he will not be fighting for the belt in his next Octagon appearance.
The news comes on the heels of the hard-fought rematch between Lawler and Hendricks on Dec. 6, which Lawler won via controversial split decision. Hendricks won their first meeting via unanimous decision at UFC 171 in March. The competitive nature of their two bouts could dictate that a trilogy is in store, although nothing has been announced. It is also unclear who will be MacDonald’s next opponent.
The 25-year-old “Red King” capped off a memorable 2014 campaign at UFC Fight Night in Halifax, dispatching ex-Strikeforce ruler Tarec Saffiedine via technical knockout 1:28 into the third stanza of their headlining encounter on Oct. 4. In addition to the win over Saffiedine, MacDonald captured unanimous verdicts over Tyron Woodley and Demian Maia.