The final welterweight bout on the main card was a battle of too ranked 170-pounders as Tri-Star trained Rory MacDonald took on former middleweight contender and jiu-jitsu ace, Demian Maia.
Losses brought both of these men to one another as Maia dropped a disappointing bout with Jake Shields late last year while Rory MacDonald was upset by Robbie Lawler at UFC 167.
Round 1: Maia came out like he was on fire. He flailed at MacDonald and shot in for a few takedowns before finally getting one. The base of Maia on top was incredible. Rory squirmed and bucked but Maia wasn’t going anywhere. MacDonald looked good defending but his attempts to push Maia away simply tightened the know. MacDonald kicked Maia off when he had a brief opening and they tried to earn ‘Fight of the Night’ when they got back up. They were both rocked in between winging punches.
Round 2: MacDonald opened up his combinations on Maia’s face. Maia was insistent on getting a takedown but MacDonald’s sprawls were easily executed on a battered Maia. MacDonald hurt Maia a little more with each landed jab. He would also stack up kicks to the body and shoulders of Maia. Leg kicks to the inside of MacDonald’s lead leg buckled the ankle of MacDonald but he didn’t lose much pop in his strikes. Maia stumbled around the Octagon until the bell rang for the end of the round.
Round 3: Round 3 was more of the same for Maia who was barely holding on to the fight. MacDonald played this round close to the chest but was actually lifted and slammed by Maia who had just under three minutes left to work. Maia rolled in an attempt to stay on top but was kicked vertically like a cheerleading routine. He landed awkwardly and got back up to meet MacDonald on the feet. MacDonald loaded up three or four jabs in a row and would then crack Maia with a big hook. An outstanding and exciting performance by Rory MacDonald.
Official Decision: Rory MacDonald defeats Demian Maia via Unanimous Decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)
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