Jason MacDonald (25-15) vs. Tom Lawlor (7-4)
In an interesting middleweight affair, the Canadian veteran MacDonald seeks a much needed win against the charismatic crowd-pleaser Lawlor.
MacDonald, 36, is coming off a first-round loss to Alan Belcher in September. Prior to that setback, the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt submitted Ryan Jensen with a triangle choke at UFC 129.
The Nova Scotia native possesses a wealth of experience with notable wins over Matt Horwich, Jason Lambert, Joe Doerksen, Chris Leben and Ed Herman, along with losses to Travis Lutter, Nate Quarry, Wilson Gouveia, Demian Maia, Yushin Okami and Rich Franklin.
Lawlor, 28, is also on the rebound trail as he succumbed to a first-round submission against Chris Weidman at UFC 139 this past November. Lawlor has enjoyed UFC victories over Kyle Kingsbury, C.B. Dollaway and Patrick Cote, but he fell short in his bids against Joe Doerksen and Aaron Simpson, submitting on both setbacks.
A standout wrestler for the University of Central Florida, Lawlor's takedowns and top control could be his strongest weapons, though he's also armed with a Brazilian jiu-jitsu blue belt.
Lawlor is a born entertainer and it remains to be seen what kind of antics he will be up to with his entrance and attire. Against MacDonald, the Massachusetts native needs to take the fight seriously as he's fighting one of the most experienced middleweights in the organization.
MacDonald's experience and superior submission game could prove crucial in this fight as he catches Lawlor in a fight-ending choke late in the fray.
Verdict: MacDonald via Submission, Round 3