Rory MacDonald took the microphone and did what so many before him have failed to do: he asked for his next fight.
MacDonald finished former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine in his first main event at UFC Fight Night 54, earning his first stoppage win since 2012.
Afterwards, MacDonald (18-2) asked to be the next contender to the UFC’s welterweight title. The current champion, Johny Hendricks, is scheduled to meet Robbie Lawler in a rematch in December. Lawler was the last person to defeat MacDonald, earning a split decision in 2013.
“I’m next, I want that title shot,” MacDonald said. “I want the winner of the next fight. Please give it to me.”
MacDonald has won three straight, downing Saffiedine, Tyron Woodley and former No. 1 contender Demian Maia. He is 8-1 in his last nine overall and 9-2 all-time with the UFC. His only other loss came to former interim UFC champion Carlos Condit.
While the pressure of competing in front of his home fans and as the heavy favorite were on MacDonald’s shoulders, he didn’t feel anything but calm, cool and collected. And after hearing constantly about a lack of finishes, MacDonald wasn’t pushing for one – it just happened.
“I was going with the flow,” he said. “I was reacting as it went. I wasn’t trying to force anything and it worked out.
“I really trained hard for this guy and have a ton of respect for him. I knew it was going to be a tough fight. I was very focused and felt at my best.”
Saffiedine (15-4) suffered his first loss since a 2011 decision defeat to Woodley, seeing his five-fight win streak snapped. He earned a victory earlier this year in his Octagon debut over Hyun Gyu Lim.