UFC welterweight contender Rory MacDonald suffered a set back in his quest for championship gold with a loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 but for the youngster, it may have been a blessing in disguise.
MacDonald was a guest on The MMA Hour on Monday and discussed the loss and where he goes from here:
“I needed it,” said MacDonald as transcribed by MMAFighting. “I think it’s a collection of things, it’s been leading up to (this). I think it’s just my mental state, the way I’ve been thinking leading up to fights. I’ve been more interested in after the fight, rather than getting into the fight.
“My fights before, the most exciting point for me was actually getting into the fight. I was hungry. I wanted to destroy my opponents, and I was hungry. I had that fire in me to fight. I think it shows in both of my performances this year, that I didn’t have that fire.”
“I felt like, my Ellenberger fight, I think I fought a really good fight. I was technically on-point, I was sharp, and watching the fight I wasn’t disappointed. But I didn’t have fun at the end of the day, and that’s what I do this for. I want to express myself when I’m up there, like an artist painting a picture. It’s just basically self-expression for me, and I don’t think I did that in these last two fights this year.
“I didn’t enjoy them. I didn’t walk out of the cage knowing that I had fun. Usually, win or lose, in my fights in the past, I’ve always had fun. I’ve always enjoyed my time fighting. This year I didn’t enjoy fighting.”
“Everything was coming very easy for me the last three years since losing to Carlos. The fights were going very smoothly, and I just felt like, wow, it’s becoming very easy. So I kind of let my guard down a bit.”
“I have that fire back and it’s a good feeling. When I think about fighting, I want to go in and I want to smash someone. I want my next opponent to be crying in the backroom. I want them to be scared of me. I just want to hurt someone, and that’s the kind of mind frame you have to be in. 2013 wasn’t like that for me. But now it is.”