Rory MacDonald at UFC 129Rory “Ares” MacDonald (12-1) has been cleaning house since he emerged into the UFC’s welterweight division in 2010.

The 22-year-old has gone 3-1 in the division, with big wins over the likes of Mike Pyle and Nate Diaz, and has been considered the next big thing in the welterweight division.

Now, the Tristar Gym pupil will face the little known fighter Che Mills at UFC 145 in Atlanta, and the pressure is all on him to look dominant.  Stepping into the Octagon, MacDonald has looked more and more like a true veteran of the game. He hasn’t gotten complacent, however, as he takes the former Cage Rage champion very seriously.

“He’s hungry, he wants to prove himself, and he wants to put his name on the map and a hungry fighter is a dangerous one, so I’m taking it very seriously,” MacDonald told MMAWeekly Radio.

“I didn’t really know him, but obviously he’s in the UFC, so I thought he’s a good fighter.  A lot of people thought I would be surprised, but not really.  I just take the fights that are given to me and it’s my job to be at my best.  I plan on putting on a good show whoever it is I’m put against.”

Since many pundits and fans have been touting MacDonald as the next Georges St-Pierre, there’s no shortage of people who believe that MacDonald should be fighting a big name in the division, but he knows his time will come.

Even though many people have written off Mills, MacDonald remains cognizant of the Britt’s striking power and believes that at the end of the day he just has too many weapons against Mills not to come out on top.

“Of course I want to fight the guys who are more recognizable.  I mean, fans want to see those fights, right?   At the same time, I’m just happy to be fighting in the UFC; it doesn’t really matter who I’m fighting.  I know everyone is good and eventually or maybe in the next fight I’ll get a top five guy and I can prove to anyone where I belong.

“I think he’s a good striker and he’s got some dangerous things in his game, a dominant striker.  I feel like I’m more of a balanced fighter and I’m dangerous everywhere as where he is only dangerous in part of the game.”

At the end of the day it doesn’t matter what people think MacDonald will end up becoming, because MacDonald knows he’s got to overcome the present first.  And for the 22-year-old, he’ll just take everything as it comes until one day he has finally proven where he belongs.

Follow Andrew Gladstone at @gladstone1 on Twitter.
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