Demian Maia was successful on two takedown attempts against Rory MacDonald Saturday night at UFC 170.
Most nights, that would be enough for the Brazilian jiu-jitsu wizard to lock up a submission.
Against MacDonald, it wasn’t.
The Canadian stuffed 20 other takedown attempts and dominated Maia standing, earning a decision victory and getting back in the win column following a late 2013 loss to Robbie Lawler.
“I wanted to let it all out,” said MacDonald, during the post-fight show on FOX Sports 1. “I didn’t want to have any regrets and I felt I did that.”
Training under the watchful eye of Firas Zahabi at Tristar Gym in Canada, MacDonald focused on stopping takedowns and surviving on the ground against Maia.
“We worked it every day in training camp,” he said. “Firas set a good training camp for me, he drilled it in my head and got me ready for what my opponent was going to do.”
A new UFC welterweight champion will be crowned next month when Lawler takes on Johny Hendricks. The belt was vacated by Georges St-Pierre, a teammate of MacDonald’s.
“I think they are both two great welterweight fighters and I have a lot of respect for them,” MacDonald said. “May the best man win.”