January 07, 2016 - 8:00 PM
KELOWNA – A UFC welterweight contender from Kelowna was involved in what Yahoo Sports has deemed the best fight of 2015.
Rory MacDonald, 26, was born in Quesnel but started fighting in Kelowna with Toshido MMA. After a loss to Carlos Condit in June 2010 he moved to Montreal to train at Tristar gym with legendary Canadian champ Georges St. Pierre.
At UFC 167 in November, 2013, he faced Robbie Lawler for the first time, losing by split decision. After three wins in a row, he was given a title shot and chance to redeem himself against Lawler at UFC 189 on July 11, 2015.
Although Lawler again bested the 5’ 11” welterweight, Yahoo Sports reporter Kevin Iole recently called the fight “so good, so memorable and fought at such a high level of skill, courage and determination that it deserves to be regarded as one of the greatest mixed martial arts fights ever held.”
“Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald made this one simple,” writes Iole on Jan. 6, 2016. “There is no need to explain the criteria for Fight of the Year. There is no need to pore over a dozen or more videos. There is no need to agonize over whether it's the right choice.
“It’s easily the choice for the 2015 MMA Fight of the Year, a timeframe for which there were numerous other outstanding matches.”
Lawler won the fight in the fifth round when the ref had to intercede and save him from a barrage of punches from the Miletech-trained Lawler.
“The sad part for MacDonald, who had long been viewed as the heir to the welterweight throne, is that he was so good on this night that he probably would have beaten anyone except the man he faced,” Iole writes. “It’s a hard reality to accept. He did more than enough to win the belt on most nights, but it wasn’t nearly enough on this one.”
MacDonald has not been back in the ocatagon since, and has a record of 18-3, with seven knock outs, six submissions and five wins by decision.
His next fight has not been announced and Iole questions whether he will be able to recover from the fight that thrilled so many.
“He took the kind of beating that often haunts a fighter long after his career is over,” he writes. “A body can’t withstand many of those kinds of bouts.”
To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email email@example.com or call 250-718-2724.
News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2016