Rory MacDonald will take part in his first ever UFC main event, as he battles fellow welterweight contender Tarec Saffiedine in Halifax, Nova Scotia on October 4th.
The UFC's first trip to Halifax now has a very important main event.
It's been confirmed today by UFC officials that Canadian welterweight contender Rory MacDonald will fight for the 3rd time this year, as he takes on the dangerous Belgian kickboxer Tarec Saffiedine in a five-round fight on October 4th.
MacDonald (17-2) ended 2013 with an upset loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 167, but he's bounced back quite well in 2014, scoring unanimous decision wins over Demian Maia in February and Tyron Woodley in June. The 25-year-old's only other loss was to Carlos Condit back in 2010, and he's racked up wins over the likes of Mike Pyle, B.J. Penn('s ghost?), and Jake Ellenberger.
Saffiedine (15-3) has won 5 straight bouts, including the Strikeforce welterweight title against Nate Marquardt to close out the organization. His UFC debut was delayed by injury, so he had to make his return in January 2014 against short-notice replacement Hyun Gyu Lim in Singapore. The bout won FOTN honors with Saffiedine winning a decision and battering Lim with a heavy leg kick assault. He was scheduled to fight Jake Ellenberger at UFC 172 before an undisclosed injury forced him out of that contest.
It's a fight that could see the winner get a title shot, although it's more likely that MacDonald receives one with a win as he's already built up an impressive resume filled with high-level opponents. Saffiedine's inactivity is a bit worrisome, but when healthy he poses quite the threat. Stylistically, the striking match-up could make for fascinating viewing, especially if Saffiedine can get his kicking game in gear. MacDonald's menacing top game and heavy base could also present difficulties for Tarec. All in all, a solid Fox Sports 1 main event and a bout worthy of the five-round tag.
The main card will air live on Fox Sports 1 as part of the UFC's dual-event Saturday, with UFC Fight Night in Sweden taking place earlier in the afternoon.