Tyron Woodley is getting a shot at UFC Welterweight Champion Robbie Lawler next month, and fellow contender Rory MacDonald this week said he was surprised by the UFC’s decision to book that fight.
“I thought they were going to give it to Demian Maia,” MacDonald said in an interview with MMAJunkie.com. “I was a bit surprised that Woodley got it. But the champ needs to stay busy, wants to fight, and Woodley was patiently waiting. He was ready. It’s how it plays out. Sometimes it’s not always the rightful guy gets the shot.”
MacDonald got his shot at Lawler last summer, losing by TKO in the fifth round of an epic back and forth battle. He returns next Saturday night for the first time since that bout when he faces Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson at UFC Fight Night 89.
Penick’s Analysis: Woodley’s at the bottom end of the options the UFC could have gone with for MacDonald’s last fight, in large part because it’s been a year and a half since his last fight, which wasn’t all that great. He’s beaten a lot of really good fighters, and he’s on a short list of viable contenders, but there were absolutely more deserving and interesting options for them to have gone with. Maia’s among them after his most recent fight, and the winner of MacDonald-Thompson will be a much more interesting challenger when they get their shot then later in the year.