The UFC announced that welterweights Rory MacDonald and Demian Maia would face off at UFC 170 this February. They made the announcement when the MMA world was abuzz with talk about the stellar fight card taking place. You know, the one that hosted one of the most exciting main events ever? So the news didn’t really stick.
Maia is coming off a disappointing loss to Jake Shields at UFC Fight Night 29 back in October. He looked his age, 36, during the fight.
MacDonald recently had his hype train derailed by a resurgent Robbie Lawler at UFC 167, snapping a five-fight winning streak and presumably costing him a fight with Georges St.Pierre.
MacDonald-Maia is good booking, at least from a business perspective. The well-rounded MacDonald is an atrocious match-up for Maia—who has average striking and deficient takedowns. It’s clear that the UFC wants to get their 24-year-old, Canadian prospect back in “the mix” as soon as possible. The best way to do that is give him a name opponent that he has a high chance of beating. They want to make him their next GSP sooner rather than later.