How would Rory MacDonald's Career have gone if he hadn't fought Lawler twice?

Discussion in 'MMA Forum' started by Samart'sTeep, Nov 15, 2020.

  1. Samart'sTeep

    Samart'sTeep New Member Full Member

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    This is something I've wondered about for a long time. When Rory came into the UFC, he was touted as the second coming of Georges st-pierre. In retrospect, we know that that wasn't even close to true with his beatdowns to Condit (though he gave him a good fight) and Lawler in the first fight. However, he was a decently accomplished welterweight with wins over Woodley, Maia, Ellenberger, Diaz, Saffiedine. And later on, wins over Daley and Lima.

    But I think we all know that as epic as the second fight against Lawler was for fans, that battle destroyed him. Apparently, he almost died from blood leaking down his throat. Not to mention his nose being shattered beyond belief and some serious brain damage from that fight, undoubtedly.

    Lawler was always a horrible matchup for Rory. A devastating southpaw puncher that he couldn't control with his jab and his front kicks. Someone who developed incredible takedown defense during his prime and could stop Rory's solid but always overrated takedowns. A good chin who could take punishment and Rory was never known as a good puncher. Still, despite all that, Rory nearly took him out twice with head kicks followed by barrages of punches and elbows when Lawler backed up to the cage. Rory was about as close to winning a title as you can be, and he paid the ultimate price for not finishing him when he had the chance.

    So, let's say someone other than Lawler was champion at the time. Hypothetically, how would Rory's career have turned out? He was very well rounded, for the most part. Definitely had some flaws like lack of head movement. But he had an excellent jab, good distance management with front kicks. Good elbows from the clinch, good round house kicks. Was good enough defensively with his jiu-jitsu to survive being mounted by Maia. Maybe not the best at mixing the arts together like GSP, but he was solid everywhere with offense and defense. Pretty good fight IQ, too, and had a great coach with Firas.

    Would he have been a long reigning champion? A decent string of title defenses? Would he have just fizzled out regardless?