It appears that the UFC has granted Rory MacDonald his bold and specific wish to attempt to get his revenge on Carlos Condit at home.
ESPN UK reported the 23-year-old Tristar Gym-based welterweight will take on Condit, the only man to have beaten the Canadian, at March’s UFC 158 in Montreal, and Dana White confirmed the news to MMAjunkie.com and The Canadian Press on Wednesday. It is expected to take place on March 16 at the Bell Centre.
There have also been rumours that the event will be headlined by a welterweight title bout between Georges St-Pierre, MacDonald’s teammate, and Nick Diaz — with some reporting that bout agreements had been sent to both camps. But White told The Canadian Press by text that the matchup was “not done yet.”
The UFC boss revealed last Thursday in Seattle that the Montreal-based champ has asked to meet Diaz, calling it unfinished business. The two were slated to meet in October 2011 but the UFC pulled Diaz after he failed to attend news conferences in Toronto and Las Vegas.
Diaz was replaced by Condit but St-Pierre injured his knee. Condit then beat Diaz in February for the interim title. After being out 19 months, a healthy GSP returned on Nov. 17 and won a five-round decision over the 28-year-old Condit (28-6) at UFC 154 in Montreal. The result snapped the Albuquerque, N.M., native’s five-fight win streak.
After MacDonald registered the biggest win of his career Saturday when he battered former two-division champion B.J. Penn at UFC on FOX 5 in Seattle, he took the microphone to call out the former interim 170-pound title-holder.
“There’s a guy that humiliated me a couple years ago, I want my revenge,” MacDonald said to start his post-fight interview. “Let’s do it in March in my home territory again.”
Late Tuesday, it was reported on UFC Tonight that Condit was amenable to the matchup, saying simply, “I’m in,” and according to MMAweekly.com, his manager Malki Kawa said if the UFC asks they’ll take the fight.
MacDonald, a B.C. native, lost to Condit by TKO at UFC 115 in Vancouver. Fighting in his own backyard in just his second bout in the Octagon, the young and less experienced MacDonald was easily winning the fight through two rounds before Condit turned the tables on him, delivering a steady array of punishment until the referee stopped the bout just seven seconds before the end of the fight.
MacDonald (14-1) said he was thrilled to get the opportunity to try his luck against Condit, a former WEC welterweight champion again, this time in his new adopted home.
“In Montreal – I got exactly what I wanted,” MacDonald told the website. “You can’t get what you don’t ask for. I’m very, very happy.
“I’ve been waiting for this day for two and a half years. It’s something I’ve wanted more than anything since that night. It was embarrassing. I got beat up in front of my friends and family. It was just a very sad moment for me. It changed who I was, and I just want to get back to it.”
While UFC 158 is not official — in fact an event in Montreal in March has not been announced — UFC director of Canadian operations Tom Wright has said on a number of occasions they plan to hold an annual event in Montreal on the third weekend of March.
UFC 157: Rousey vs. Carmouche has already been announced for Feb. 23 in Anaheim, and a trip to Japan that will be UFC on FUEL TV 8, has been scheduled for March 3.
NOTES: No doubt Saturday’s MacDonald-Penn bout, which was preceded by a fair amount of bad blood between the two, helped in the event’s viewership in Canada as the freely televised event set a Sportsnet record with an average audience 454,000. Headlined by the lightweight title bout between Benson Henderson and Nate Diaz, UFC on Sportsnet: Henderson vs. Diaz became the most watched UFC event on the network, surpassing the 409,000 viewers for UFC Live: Jones vs. Vera, which aired on Sunday, March 21, 2010.
Meanwhile in the U.S., the fifth UFC on FOX show also saw a big rise in numbers from its previous two. An average of 4.4 million viewers tuned in to watch the four-fight card on the network, up from roughly 2.4 million each for the shows in May and August. The totals are still down from the 5.7 million average for November 2011’s debut FOX show and 4.7 million for UFC on FOX 2 in January.