Rory MacDonald pleased the 55,000 fans in the Rogers Centre on Saturday night with a dominating win over Nate Diaz. MacDonald, a native of British Columbia, won on all three judges crowds: 30-26, 30-27, 30-26.
The fight started much more slowly than it ended. MacDonald used leg kicks throughout the first round while Diaz mostly used jabs. MacDonald tried for a takedown, but Diaz reversed him, broke from MacDonald's hold and stood up. Diaz tried for a single-leg takedown late in the round, but couldn't get it. Diaz seemed frustrated by the round, as he taunted MacDonald as the horn to end the round sounded.
As the crowd in Toronto chanted, "[Expletive] you, Diaz," MacDonald started the second with a takedown. Diaz got back to his feet, but MacDonald punished him with short strikes as Diaz stood up. MacDonald then followed it up with another takedown. Again, they returned to their feet, and this time the fight went against the cage. Diaz tried for a takedown, but MacDonald stopped him. In the final seconds of the round, MacDonald worked in a few more knees and punches before the time ran out.
MacDonald made his mark in the third round when Diaz made the tactical error of trying for another takedown. MacDonald stepped out of the takedown attempt, then followed Diaz to the ground. He took his back, and used it as an opportunity to slam Diaz to the ground twice in a row. MacDonald landed several more strikes when Diaz was on the ground. Diaz came close to standing up and then MacDonald supplexed him again. Diaz tried to come back in the last seconds, but it was too late. MacDonald had made his mark, all over Diaz's face. The Canadian crowd exploded, cheering on their native son's win.
Diaz was hoping to follow in the footsteps of his older brother, who earlier this month convincingly defended the Strikeforce welterweight belt, but it was not meant to be. MacDonald, who recently started training at Georges St-Pierre's training home of Tri-Star Gym in Montreal, didn't relent during the fight. Now, the 21-year-old MacDonald's record moves to 11-1, while Diaz is 13-7.
- Nate Diaz