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Tag: Rory MacDonald

Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler Booked for UFC 167 in November


(You almost feel bad for Koscheck. Almost. / Photo via Getty)

UFC officials announced last night that the Rory MacDonald vs. Robbie Lawler matchup that Dana White liked so much has been formally booked. The two dangerous welterweights will face off at UFC 167: St. Pierre vs. Hendricks, November 16th in Las Vegas.

Just like the GSP/Hendro main event, MacDonald vs. Lawler pits an athletically gifted Canadian phenom against an American southpaw with dynamite in his fists. Our prediction: Robbie Lawler knocks out GSP in a short-notice replacement fight after MacDonald and Hendricks are both injured while warming up backstage before the event. We’re actually willing to bet money on that, but you have to give us +150,000 odds. (Alternate prediction: Hendricks misses weight by over 20 pounds.)

MacDonald is riding a five-fight win streak in the Octagon, most recently earning a decision win in a snoozefest against Jake Ellenberger at UFC on FOX 8. Lawler is 2-0 since returning to the UFC as a welterweight, scoring knockouts of Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker.

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Dana White “Likes” the Idea of Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald (And So Do We)


(White, seen here liking the idea of that thing we just told you about.)

Ahh, the Dana White post-fight media scrum, where fighters big and small are heralded for their gutsy performances inside the octagon or (rightfully) raked over the coals for the game of pattycake they played earlier in the evening. Tis truly the UFC’s answer to a “performance review.” Indeed. And for the reporters brave enough to withstand this gauntlet of guffaws, this marathon of misinformation? Surely the treasure that is insider info lies in store.

Take this potential nugget of knowledge, for instance, which was dropped by DW during the aforementioned Fight Night 26 media scrum over the weekend. When Matt Brown defeated Mike Pyle by murder as I predicted he would, “the media” jumped on the idea of a potential slugfest between Brown and Robbie Lawler next. Palms got sweaty, pants got tighter — you know the deal. His Whiteness was quick to shoot the matchup down, however, commenting that “he liked” the idea of Lawler instead facing perennial contender and collector of human flesh masks Rory MacDonald next, although he had no location or date for the potential fight in mind.

Lawler is coming off back-to-back KO’s of Josh Koscheck and Bobby Voelker, whereas MacDonald was last seen eeking out a unanimous decision in a snoozer over Jake Ellenberger at UFC on FOX 8, his fifth straight in the UFC. Do you like this fight, Potato Nation, or will MacDonald’s wrestling pedigree spell the end to Lawler’s dynamite second run in the UFC?

-J. Jones

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Surprises and Disappointments From UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga


(A triumphant loss for Trevor Smith, and an awe-inspiring punch-face for Ed Herman. / Photo via Getty. Click to enlarge.)

By Adam Martin

UFC on FOX 8 not only provided a number of awesome moments from some unexpected heroes, but it also saw a few fighters who were expected to do big things disappoint in a big way. In the first of a new post-event column only on CagePotato.com, here are three fighters who surprised us at UFC on FOX 8 and three fighters who let us down.

Surprises

Demetrious Johnson: Many expected UFC flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson to successfully defend his title against John Moraga in the main event of UFC on FOX 8, but I don’t think anyone predicted him to win the fight via armbar with just one minute and 17 seconds left in the fight.

But that’s exactly what Johnson did as he earned his first stoppage victory in eight UFC fights, en route to shutting up the critics who called him boring and said he didn’t have what it takes to finish a tough guy like Moraga.

Johnson had all four rounds in his pocket and was ahead in the fifth, but instead of coasting to a win he tried desperately to get the finish and put an exclamation point on his performance, and that’s exactly what he did with his first submission win in the Octagon, a victory that earned him the $50,000 “Submission of the Night” award.

“Mighty Mouse” is always going to have his detractors because of his wrestling-heavy style, and I think his finish of Moraga is a bit of an anomaly, but on Saturday night he deserved all the praise in the world for a brilliant performance, one that has truly earned him his spot amongst the pound-for-pound best fighters in MMA. And hopefully, it’s just a sign of things to come.

Melvin Guillard: It had been over two years since Melvin Guillard last stopped an opponent inside the Octagon, but with his brutal second-round KO of Mac Danzig on the UFC on FOX 8 preliminary card, it’s safe to say that “The Young Assassin” is back.

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UFC on FOX 8 Aftermath: The Flyweights Deliver


(Photo courtesy of Getty Images.)

By Elias Cepeda

Flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson delivered another exciting, winning performance last night in the main event of UFC on Fox 8. The champ defended his title successfully with a fifth round arm bar submission win over challenger John Moraga.

Long before the submission, however, it looked like Johnson was going to walk away with a clear-cut victory. The Washington resident used his footwork, take downs, ground striking and submission attempts to put on a show for his home town crowd in Seattle Saturday night. Johnson took the two-time All-American wrestler Moraga down at will and worked him over with choke and arm bar attempts before finally securing the fight-ending hold in the last round.

For his part, Moraga never appeared to break or give in. He simply was no match for the champion.

Post fight, Johnson said that, while he is satisfied to continue to defend his 125 pound belt, he is open to doing “super fights” with champions of heavier divisions. “[A superfight] is just something to throw out there,” Johnson said at the post-event press conference. “I’m still focused on my weight division. I know there’s up-and-coming fighters who are trying to come up and take what’s mine, and I’ll be there to defend it for the fans.”

“I think everybody is focused on Anderson Silva, ‘GSP’ and all those guys,” Johnson continued. “But I think we can make some fun super fights down in a lighter-weight division with the flyweights fighting the bantamweights. I know the bantamweights have some things to work out, and then we’ll see what happens. I’m just here to fight and have a good time and put on a good performance for the UFC and the fans.”

Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger’s war of tweets came to a relatively muted climax in the co-main event. MacDonald used masterful foot work, angles and a stiff, precise jab to out-point Ellenberger and win a decision. Scores were 30-27 (twice) and 29-28 for MacDonald.

MacDonald managed to stay elusive while stalking Ellenberger for much of the fight. Ellenberger swang hard in spurts with his hooks behind a peek-a-boo posture, but mostly whiffed. Late in the third round, Ellenberger was finally able to catch Rory with a big shot and take down but the young Canadian immediately switched to offense from his back, threatening to get up with butterfly guards and with triangle choke and oma-plata shoulder lock attempts, before taking his opponent’s back at the final horn.

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UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga — Main Card Results and Commentary


(I got nothin’. So here’s Julie Kedzie looking like a crazy cat lady. / Photo via MMAFighting.com)

A breakthrough moment for the flyweights. A Canadian psycho and an American juggernaut. A veteran banger, still doin’ the damn thang. And a young upstart who promises to test the will of the Girl-rilla. It’s UFC on FOX time, folks. Let’s get it.

The main card for UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga kicks off at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT, and our man George Shunick will be hooking us up with round-by-round results, after the jump. Refresh the page every few minutes for all the latest, and toss your own thoughts, predictions, and one-liners into the comments section. Thanks for being here.

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Four Hidden Storylines For ‘UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga’

By Adam Martin

There’s often so much going on during UFC on FOX events that some of the more intriguing storylines get lost amongst all the glamour and glitz of network television. Here are four important themes surrounding UFC on FOX 8: Johnson vs. Moraga that have been flying under the radar heading into this weekend’s show. Let us know what you think, and be sure to come back to CagePotato.com this Saturday night at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT for our liveblog of the main card.

Is UFC On FOX 8 Make Or Break For The Flyweights?

UFC on FOX 8 is headlined by the flyweight title fight between reigning champion Demetrious Johnson and challenger John Moraga, and it’s a fight that could help the flyweight division explode if it’s exciting — or hold the division back if it’s a bore.

The last time that 125-pounders headlined an event was at UFC on FOX 6, when Johnson defended his title against John Dodson. The match won “Fight of the Night,” but that might not be the first thing that fans think of when they remember the event. Instead, they think of Anthony Pettis’s body kick KO of Donald Cerrone, or (for less positive reasons) Rampage Jackson’s last Octagon fight against Glover Teixeira.

It may be because flyweight fights so often go to decision, and the fans, especially casual fans, love to see knockouts and submissions. But it’s rare to see true KO power among 125-pound fighters, and the fact that flyweights tend to be extremely quick and nimble makes it harder for submissions to get locked in.

Demetrious Johnson certainly fits this stereotype, as he’s managed to go 27 rounds in his UFC career without securing a single stoppage victory. But Moraga has been an exception to the rule. Both of his Octagon appearances have ended in pleasingly violent finishes. Unfortunately, those finishes — a knockout of Ulysses Gomez at UFC on FOX 4 and a guillotine-choke submission of Chris Cariaso at UFC 155  — were both buried on the opening preliminary bouts of the cards they were on. In other words, even if you attended those events in person, you might have missed them. Despite being a title challenger in a main event fight on FOX, Moraga is still a stranger to most fans.

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Heads Up, Taters: Now’s Your Chance to Win a (Potentially Quite Awkward) Day in the Life of Rory MacDonald!

If there’s anything we’ve learned about UFC welterweight contender Rory “Mini Rush” MacDonald over the past few years it’s that he loves to fight and he loves to shop. And now thanks to his sponsor, Ecko, you can join him for a little of both!

Cool, right? Well, yeah, but also…kinda strange. We guess it really depends on what you bring to the table.

Because if you, your buddy that you get to bring and Rory, like, totally click, you’ll be sure to have fun during this day of “private” training and shopping with “Ares.” Hell, you guys will probably all stay in touch afterwards and tell inside jokes over Skype once a week while eating popcorn. On the off chance that doesn’t happen, however, it might get a lil’ awkward for some non-athlete to have a private training session with a world class fighter and then, because this is totally something that lots of strangers do together, go clothes shopping together at an Ecko store.

Does Rory watch you shop? Do you watch him shop? Will there be a montage of one of you trying on different outfits while the other approves or disapproves? Also, R-Mac doesn’t seem that lively and verbose from interviews with strangers that we’ve seen, so is talking kind of out of the question? So many questions about this wonderful day to come.

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[VIDEO] UFC on FOX 8: Road to The Octagon


(Video via UFC’s YouTube page)

The UFC on Fox 8: Road to the Octagon documentary special premiered tonight. If you missed it, we’ve got you covered above with video of the full episode.

The show takes you on the inside the three top fights from this coming Saturday’s big card.

Bobby Voelker fights Robbie Lawler on short notice and gets a chance to get back on the winning track in a huge way. Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald’s silly intense twitter war culminates in an actual fight between top welterweights.

John Moraga challenges Demetrious Johnson for the 125 pound world title and gets the chance to answer the question, “Who is John Moraga?” Even if you weren’t super pumped for this card before, seeing the lives of these guys and their behind the scenes training should get you at least a little amped up.

Sure, you could do something other than sit on your ass for the next forty five minutes. But, you probably won’t. So, enjoy another fun Road to the Octagon special.

- Elias Cepeda

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With Some Help From Twitter, Jake Ellenberger Could Be Next In Line For GSP…If He Can Beat Rory MacDonald


(“Here we are with Ake Jellenberger, you did an awesome job, getting some awesome trash-talk in there, I want to tell me what you see, let’s go ahead and see by the tweets, what you saw, in the computer.” / Photo via Getty)

By Nathan Smith

The war of words heated up between The Juggernaut and The Waterboy — aka Ares, or the Canadian Psycho…too bad Uncle Creepy was already taken — via Twitter this past week, leading up to their UFC on FOX 8 showdown on July 27 from the Key Arena in Seattle, Washington. Because Anderson Silva vs Chris Weidman is on the horizon, many have forgotten that the #3 and #4 ranked welterweights will be squaring off a few weeks after. The latest beef started off as a seemingly harmless question thrown out by Jake Ellenberger to his followers, but apparently Rory MacDonald did not take kindly to it and he made his 140 characters count like they were punches.

Though it is not exactly the magnitude of Twitter beef that Jon Jones and Chael Sonnen engaged in when the American Gangster was trying to goad the LHW champ into accepting his short-notice challenge at the now infamously cancelled UFC 151, but it was still a pretty good shot across the bow by MacDonald even though it took a couple previous Twitter-jabs from Ellenberger to get us to this point.

Awesome.

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Not This Shit Again: BJ Penn Reportedly Not Ready to Retire Yet, Eyes Lightweight Return


(Well, at least we had the same reaction to this news as Penn himself.) 

Former lightweight and welterweight champion BJ Penn is one of the best fighters in MMA history, pound for pound. There is no debating this. However, the thirty four year-old has also only won a single fight in his last six outings, and just three in his last nine fights, dating back the last four and a half years.

Penn’s last two losses, to Nick Diaz and Rory MacDonald at UFC 137 and UFC on FOX 5, respectively, were ugly ones for “The Prodigy” to say the least. The tough Hawaiian made it to the end of both fights by virtue of being damn near impossible to finish, but also looked more like a cartoon who had taken a bath in Judge Doom’s “Dip” than a human being by the time both encounters were all said and done.

UFC President Dana White has called for Penn to retire, saying that Penn is “too tough for his own good.” Despite this, Fuel TV’s UFC Tonight reported yesterday that Penn is not yet ready to call it quits. Because who ever is, really?

“The door is still open for BJ Penn to return to MMA in the future,” reporter Ariel Helwani said on UFC Tonight.  ”If he does come back, it will be at 155 pounds…He’s actually training right now and has to check in with his body and mind in the next few months.”

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