Found April 22, 2012 on Fox Sports South:
Expectations can be like a large stone: you can either use them as a pedestal on which to stand above the crowd, or have them drag you down like an anchor at sea. While 22-year-old welterweight Rory MacDonald faced a worthy opponent in Englishman Che Mills on Saturday night in UFC 145, the bigger opponent was the expectations that have been heaped on the Canadian rising star. UFC president Dana White called MacDonald the next Georges St. Pierre, a reference to the current welterweight champion and one of the most popular and dominant fighters in the sport. MacDonald burnished his image and raised expectations even higher with an impressive TKO over Mills in a fight that was never close. Mills was bleeding two minutes into the first round as MacDonald took him to the mat and pounded a deep gash over Mills' right eye and another on his right cheek. The powerful close-quarters punches and elbows made the canvas look an episode of "True Blood." Relentless and indefatigable, MacDonald's punches come in flurries with the last packing just as much power as the first. Mills went to the ground early in the second round and MacDonald continued the pounding until the referee mercifully stopped it at the 2:20 mark in the second. "I made some mistakes, which is a blessing because you can learn from them," MacDonald said, although most knowledgeable fight watchers viewed the performance as near flawless. But he also felt what everyone who watched the fight saw. "I just stayed on him," he said. "I knew he was hurt from the first ground and pound. But he was very tough, hard to put away." It was a night for the UFC to showcase their most talented youngsters. Light heavyweight champion Jon Jones successfully defended his belt at the ripe old age of 24, and now has a record of 16-1. MacDonald is 13-1 in mixed martial arts, although this was only his fifth fight in the UFC. But despite impressive wins over Mike Pyle, Nate Diaz and Mike Guymon, MacDonald entered this one in an unenviable position. Even though Mills came into the night with a 14-4 MMA record and one TKO victory in the UFC, MacDonald was supposed to win. In fact, many pundits wondered why he wasn't fighting a more "worthy" opponent. That added pressure unlike anything the youngster had never experienced. "The media wasn't giving much respect to my opponent," he said. "So you look bad when you lose." But he didn't lose, and if White and others are correct, there are many more victories in MacDonald's future. This one was, as expected, a lesson in talent and technique. "Whenever I do something on the ground full power like that I know the fight is pretty much over," MacDonald said, not in the cocky voice of a 22-year-old who is full of himself, but like a mature man who understands his potential. "It took longer than I expected (to win), though, even though I'm in good shape." MacDonald also displays wisdom beyond his years, especially when speaking about expectations, which he understands must be cultivated like roses, and managed to the last detail. "I want to stay busy," he said. "I need to train properly, stay focused and continue to grow as a fighter." When asked what he hopes that growth will look like, the young man smiled. "Three fights a year," he said. "That would make me happy." He didn't mention a shot at the title. Everyone expects that to come soon enough.
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Rory MacDonald’s UFC 145 Video Blog – Training and MW3

Get a brief look at up-and-coming welterweight Rory MacDonald as he prepares for his co-main event bout at UFC 145 against Che Mills. MacDonald demonstrates his impressive vertical jump and perfect plank form during a long day of training before relaxing with a friendly game of Modern Warfare 3. Rory MacDonald’s UFC 145 Video Blog – Training and MW3 is a post from: MMA Interplay UFC News

Rory MacDonald Manhandles Che Mills

In a stunning display of mixed martial arts, Rory MacDonald lived up to the hype by utterly dominating Che Mills at UFC 145. Following up on his TKO victory, Rory spoke with UFC analyst Karyn Bryant and made it clear that he intends to eventually rule the UFC welterweight division.

UFC 145 Live Results and Play-by-Play (Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills)

A welterweight affair between Rory MacDonald and Che Mills served as the co-featured attraction for tonight’s “UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans” pay-per-view broadcast. Please click HERE to catch our live results and play-by-play coverage. Philips Arena in Atlanta, Georgia is hosting tonight’s festivities. The show is headlined by a light heavyweight title tilt between champion...

Jones beats Evans at UFC 145

UFC 145: ' Jones vs. Evans' Post Fight Press Conference Video, Fighter Bonuses

'UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans' Live Weigh In Stream

Expect the first fighter to tip the scale right around 4 PM EST. UFC 145: Jones vs. Evans coverage

UFC 145 Pick 'Em Results

Congratulations to Vicente Luevano for winning our UFC 145 Pick 'Em Contest (via a tiebreaker).  Next Pick 'Em action will be for next Saturday's UFC on Fox: Diaz vs Miller on May 5th.  Thanks for playing!Consensus Picks:Jon Jones - 79%Rory MacDonald - 75%Brendan Schaub - 86%Miguel Torres - 61%  Mark Hominick - 94% Consensus Overall Record in 2012: 32-25 (56%) ...

UFC 145 Weigh-ins Live at 1:00 PT

UFC 145 weigh-ins take place in the Fox Theatre in Atlanta. Here is the card for UFC 145: World Lightheavyweight Championship Jon Jones vs. Rashad Evans Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills Brendan Schaub vs. Ben Rothwell Miguel Torres vs. Michael McDonald Mark Hominick vs. Eddie Yagin Mark Bocek vs. John Alessio Preliminary Bouts on FX [...]
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.