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UFC 170: MacDonald vs. Maia
By: Mark Kern - StatFox
Published: 2/22/2014  at  2:47:00 AM
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UFC 170: MacDonald vs. Maia

Saturday, February 22 10:30 p.m. ET
Las Vegas, NV

Rory MacDonald (15-2) vs. Demian Maia (18-5)

Welterweight bout
Line: MacDonald -300, Maia +240

Rory MacDonald looks to bounce back from his second career loss as he goes up against Demian Maia at UFC 170 in Las Vegas on Saturday.

In his last fight on Nov. 16, MacDonald lost a tough match against Robbie Lawler by way of split decision. While he was unable to get the victory that night, MacDonald is still one of the bright young stars in the sport. At 24 years old, his best days are ahead of him and he is continuing to improve in every fight. Already on his resume, MacDonald has victories against BJ Penn, Jake Ellenberger and Nate Diaz. With the welterweight class wide open now that Georges St.-Pierre has retired, MacDonald has a chance to quickly get into the discussion for a title bout. Like MacDonald, Maia will be looking to get back on the winning track. In his last fight on Oct. 9, he lost to Jake Shields by way of split decision. The 36-year old has been impressive in his career, and has battled some of the very best in his sport, including losses to Chris Weidman and Anderson Silva in a 2010 title bout. For Maia, this could be his last chance to ever get back into a title conversation. While Maia will come out hungry and well prepared, it is MacDONALDs time in the UFC, and he will produce a dominating victory on Saturday.

Here is the Bet DSI breakdown on all the big fights on Saturday's UFC 170 main card:

Of his 15 career victories, "Ares" MacDonald has six wins by both knockout and submission, prevailing in just three fights by way of decision. Seven of those finishes have come in the first round. Heading into this bout, MacDonald will have a huge advantage when it comes to striking, landing 3.9 strikes per minute compared to 1.7 for Maia. He is also much more accurate with his punches (48.3% for MacDonald, 40.8% for Maia) and defends strikes better too with a 65.3% defense compared to 61.9% for his opponent. Striking will be huge in this matchup as these two fighters are very comparable when it comes to takedowns (3.15 for MacDonald and 3.14 for Maia). If the Canadian MacDonald is able to control this fight and turn it into more of a brawl, then he should be able to get an easy victory. However, if this fight goes to the ground, the heavy underdog Maia has a significant chance to get this win.

Maia is a talented submission artist, with nine of his 18 career victories coming by this way, which includes half of his dozen UFC wins. He also has three submissions and six wins by decision. Maia is a terrific wrestler, and this is his best chance to get the victory. He has a submission average of 1.37, compared to just 0.83 for MacDonald. The Brazilian will not be intimidated heading into this match, as his experience against the top fighters in the sport could go a long way in determining which fighter is able to get the win. MacDonald is going to come into this match looking to take control early. If Maia is able to hang on early and get the fight to the later rounds, then he has a chance to steal the victory.

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