Rory MacDonald sent out a message to the rest of the welterweight division with a unanimous victory over Tyron Woodley at UFC 174 in Vancouver.
The Canadian came storming out of the gates at the beginning of the first to control the centre of the Octagon. Woodley tied up his opponent with clinches at the fence and fired big knees to the body. “T-Wood” caught a kick to score a brief takedown but MacDonald swiftly got back to his feet. “The Canadian Psycho” began to take control on the feet towards the end of the opener scoring successive front kicks to the body. The round ended with a nice combination landing on the button for MacDonald.
“The Chosen One” connected with two stinging leg kicks at the beginning of the second but then MacDonald began to assert his dominance. “The Waterboy” worked off his jab to keep the dangerous power striker out of range. MacDonald dominated the round by firing strikes at will, mixing it up well with punches to the head and body and an array of kicks. He finished the round with a huge head kick that shook Woodley.
Woodley came out in the final round, swinging wildly for the fences out of desperation. MacDonald managed to negate this tactic and barely took any damage from the flurry. The Canadian scored a takedown and from there it was game over. MacDonald landed some heavy ground and pound and remained in the dominant position until the final bell. All three judges scored the fight 30-27 in favour of MacDonald.
MacDonald had an impressive decision victory over Demian Maia at UFC 170 in his last trip to the Octagon. This came after the Canadian’s split decision loss to “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler at UFC 167, a result which cost MacDonald a shot at the vacant welterweight belt. With this impressive victory over Woodley, MacDonald propelled himself right back into the title frame.
Woodley added to big scalps to his record in his last two UFC bouts. He knocked out veteran Josh Koscheck at UFC 167 and went on to earn a TKO victory over perpetual contender Carlos Condit at UFC 171 earlier this year. This loss will be tough to take for Woodley, but with such a stacked division, he could earn a title shot with a couple of more wins against high ranking fighters.