last saturday at UFC 189, rory macdonald fought robbie lawler for the UFC welterweight championship. hands down, it was the best MMA fight i’ve ever seen. i haven’ t been able to stop thinking about it since i watched it.
i’ve always liked rory. he is such a soft-spoken, unassuming guy. he doesn’t look or act like one of the toughest human beings on the planet, even though he is. he’s just a nice, quiet, polite, normal young fella.
i also love his fighting style. he is very patient and measured, choosing to thwart his opponent’s game plans rather than rush in swinging for the fences. watching rory fight is like watching a high level chess match with elbows and head kicks instead of rooks and bishops. this fighting style hasn’t endeared him to a lot of MMA fans though. many of them bitch about rory’s fights being boring, but those people are fucking stupid. they just want to watch a couple of brawlers slug it out. they don’t appreciate the finely honed techniques, the precise details of rory’s work. pearls before swine.
but macdonald vs lawler 2 was something that every fight fan can appreciate, no matter how dumb or drunk they may be. because in addition to being a beautiful chess match, it was a fucking war. it was as brutal as it gets. it was so back and forth, with both lawler and macdonald landing serious blows. lawler broke macdonald’s nose and it gushed blood the rest of the fight, and rory broke his foot (kicking lawler in the head, i assume). rory somehow cut lawler’s lip in half, and had him on the verge of knockout with some tremendous headkicks and vicious elbows to the face. lawler was saved by the bell, and i screamed out loud in my living room.
in the 5th round though, lawler recovered and got back to work on rory’s face. he managed to land a final clean, hard punch on rory’s already shattered nose and rory crumpled. it was agonizing to watch, it really was. i felt so awful for rory because he has worked so hard to get this far and, in my opinion, has been under-appreciated by the UFC and the MMA world in general. i wanted him to win the welterweight belt to prove that he truly is one of the greatest fighters on the planet.
but since my initial disappointment for rory, i’ve been having some interesting other feelings on the outcome of the fight. lots of people are saying that it will definitely be the fight of the year, and dana white even called it “the best fight of ever.” i agree with him 100%, and i think that had rory won it, it may not have been so legendary. i mean, i would have been thrilled that rory won the belt, but then we would not have seen rory push himself further and further, until his battered and broken body simply would not continue. how far did rory push himself? this far:
and i believe that it was this refusal to quit until his body wouldn’t go on, this display of warrior heart, that made the fight so fucking special. had rory won, we wouldn’t have seen this powerful, beautiful thing. it’s so fucking bittersweet.
so in the end, regardless of the loss, this fight only makes me like rory macdonald even more. he proved so much.
hails, red king.