Countdown to UFC 170: McDonald vs. Maia

Friday, February 21, 2014

The UFC 170 main card has five fights:
Ronda Rousey vs. Sara McMann
Daniel Cormier vs. Patrick Cummins                
Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia                
Mike Pyle vs. TJ Waldburger                
Robert Whittaker vs. Stephen Thompson    

Among the hardcore fan base, the most intriguing fight on the PPV portion of the card is Rory MacDonald vs. Demian Maia. Both fighters are coming off a loss, in which they got beat at their own game. MacDonald was out struck by Robbie Lawler, and Maia was out grappled by Jake Shields.

Early in his career Maia was a submission machine, tapping out Jason Macdonald, Nate Quarry, and Chael Sonnnen, in a row. Then he transitioned to a more stand up approach from 2010-2012 during which he went 3-3, all by decision. He has since found a balance, tapping out Dong Hyun Kim and Rick Story, before soundly decisioning Jon Fitch, and most recently losing a split decision to Shields.

MacDonald's career has seen less twists. Although he has won an equal number of fights by submission and by strikes (6), MacDonald uses his long range and accurate strikes to dominate. Although he is a black belt in “no gi” Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu under Chris Brennan black belt David Lea of Toshido MMA in Kelowna, BC, MacDonald is not expected to invite a ground game with his opponent. Maia is a 4th degree black belt in BJJ, who has won both the ADCCs and the Mundials.

The fight may start predictably, with MacDonald trying to force a stand up fight. But there is an old rule in boxing – fight a boxer, and box a fighter. Aware of Lawler's success in brawling with MacDonald, Maia may at least for a time try to slug at close quarters with “Ares.” But if the opportunity presents itself, expect to see an awesome takedown, and watch MacDonald try to stay afloat.

Of course, all this is pure speculation. No one knows what is really going to happen, which is why you have the fight.

Current UFC Top 10:
1. Johny Hendricks 
2. Carlos Condit 
3. Robbie Lawler 
4. Rory MacDonald 
5. Jake Ellenberger 
6. Demian Maia 
7. Jake Shields 
8. Matt Brown 
9. Tarec Saffiedine 
10. Tyron Woodley

?How do you think the top 10 looks Sunday morning?