Eleven months on from his titanic battle with Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 and Rory MacDonald is still suffering from the adverse effects of the punishment he endured that night.
On Saturday, MacDonald stepped back into the octagon for the first time since the famous fifth round TKO defeat to face rampaging welterweight karateka Stephen Thompson in Ottawa. Unfortunately it was not to be the glorious homecoming that the Canadian hero had hoped for, as “Wonderboy” utilized an effective stick and move approach to comprehensively outpoint him over five rounds.
Adding to his woes, MacDonald’s obviously weakened nose once again crumpled under the impact of an opponent’s fist.
Most observers probably didn’t require the diagnosis of a medical professional or the testimony of the fighter himself to know that he had suffered another break, as the claret was cascading from his nostrils towards the bout’s end, but the appropriately nicknamed “Red King” confirmed it at the post-fight press conference. He added that this has been an ongoing issue since the Lawler fight.
“Fifth round, during a trade, we were both trading a little bit. I don’t know what it was, I was just trying to throw combinations and duck my head but something landed and I felt the waterfall start. The familiar feeling”.
“I broke it actually a couple times before this fight. I have no idea. I gave it time, it kept breaking. I don’t know if surgery’s going to be the best route. I really just have to take time and at least I’d probably look into surgery, see if that can make it stronger because just time off didn’t do shit(Transcription via Fox Sports)”.
To make matters even worse, seeing out his UFC contract with a second consecutive loss, will undoubtedly impact MacDonald’s strength at the negotiating table moving forward.
While MacDonald contemplates free-agency and a surgery that may become a necessity, his conqueror, Thompson, will look ahead to a potential clash with the very man who inflicted the initial damage to that nose, Robbie Lawler.
Lawler defends his UFC welterweight title against Tyron Woodley at UFC 201, but Thompson believes he is next in line to face the winner. And bizarrely, the 33-year-old claimed at the post-fight presser that he is hoping “Ruthless” Robbie is the one to emerge victorious.
No joke, Stephen Thompson says he would rather fight Robbie Lawler than Tyron Woodley. This is the bravest man alive.
— Shaheen Al-Shatti (@shaunalshatti) June 19, 2016
Perhaps he would revise that opinion after a quick chat with Rory.