Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 4/22/12
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.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Tyler Eifert says he will never play in the Pro Bowl again

Australian athletes evacuate the Olympic village after fire

Russian weightlifting team banned from Rio

Wade says Riley did not push him out of Miami

Nationals among multiple teams inquiring on Mark Melancon

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

McClain does not show up for Cowboys’ training camp

Andre Johnson agrees to two-year deal with Titans

Redskins GM injures hand punching wall in frustration

Report: Aldon Smith checks into rehab

McCarthy discusses 'urgency’ to win another title with Rodgers

Report: Lions extend CB Darius Slay with $50 million deal

Storyline from 'Ballers' plays out in Cowboys preseason camp

Texas A&M creates a very sexist version of their fight song for women

Brown, Marshall are apparently serious about their car bet

Lacy, Starks could split carries to start season

Cyborg Santos post-surgery skull photos are eerie

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Hockey team unveils Clinton, Trump bobbleheads

Bennett compares chemistry with Pats QBs to his love life

Crowell still making amends for controversial Instagram post

Report: LeBron urged Justin Bieber not to perform at RNC

Luck refutes Matt Hasselbeck’s assertion he never showers

Newspaper editor explains use of Jordan meme for MJ article

MMA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Dr. Phil calls out the Patriots for their cheating ways

Everything that's already gone wrong at the Rio Olympics

Amar'e Stoudemire's presence (and absence) changed the NBA

We asked Team USA: What other Olympic sport would you play?

Why Gary Bettman's CTE denial is cause for concern for NHL

WATCH: Inside the Nike SNKRS BOX in SF for Golden Air Celebration

WATCH: Five other uniforms Chris Sale should cut up

QUIZ: Name every Olympic event in which the USA has never won a gold medal

Five U.S. Olympians favored to win multiple gold medals

WATCH: What teams should join the Big 12?

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker