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UFC 174: MacDonald vs. Woodley
By: Mark Kern - StatFox
Published: 6/14/2014  at  2:22:00 AM
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UFC 174: MacDonald vs. Woodley

Saturday, June 14 11:00 p.m. ET
Vancouver, BC

Rory MacDonald (16-2) vs. Tyron Woodley (13-2)

Welterweight bout
Line: Woodley -140, MacDonald +120

Two of the top fighters in the welterweight class go at it Saturday night at UFC 174 as Rory MacDonald and Tyron Woodley square off for a chance to move into title contention.

MacDonald is coming off a victory against Demian Maia at UFC 170 on Feb. 22, a match that he had to dig deep in and win by unanimous decision. Although he was taken down twice in that match, MacDonald held a significant 75-51 advantage in significant strikes. In his match prior to that on Nov. 16, MacDonald held a 4-0 takedown advantage, but lost by way of controversial split decision to Robbie Lawler. MacDonald is an explosive athlete that has built a very impressive resume with wins over BJ Penn, Jake Ellenberger and Nate Diaz. MacDonald is a terrific athlete that uses his speed and quickness to his advantage. However, he will also be going up against another great athlete in Tyron Woodley, who is coming off a huge victory against a very talented fighter in Carlos Condit at UFC 171. In that match on March 15, Woodley delivered a leg kick that broke the leg of Condit. With that win against Condit, Woodley showed that he deserves to be in contention for a title chance in the welterweight class. Both of these guys have a great opportunity to possibly earn a shot at the belt. MacDonald has shown the ability to be a star, but his opponent is coming off a huge victory against Condit, and that momentum will lead WOODLEY to the victory in this fight as well.

"The Chosen One" Woodley has 13 victories in his career, with five of them coming by way of knockout. He also has four wins by both decision and submission, showing he is a versatile fighter that can win a match in many different ways. Woodley can also end a match quickly, as he has put away seven of his opponents in the first round. While he does not land nearly as many significant strikes per minute (2.67) as MacDonald does (4.02), Woodley is much more accurate with his strikes (57% compared to 45%). While he is not landing as many punches, the St. Louis native is throwing his strikes with a purpose, and that is to inflict heavy damage on his opponents. Both guys do an outstanding job of defending against the takedown (94% for Woodley, 88% for MacDonald), so do not expect a lot of attempts at submissions. The 32-year-old Woodley is the stronger fighter, so if this involves multiple times of punches being traded, then Woodley could be in position to get the win. However, MacDonald will not go down easily.

"Ares" MacDonald enters this match with 16 victories in his career, with six wins coming by both knockout and submission. Seven of these dozen wins have occurred in the first round. The 24-year-old MacDonald has also shown he has great cardio by winning four matches by way of decision, including each of his past three victories. For a lot of fighters early in their career, this type of match could be too much. However, MacDonald has fought so many talented fighters that he will definitely be prepared for this match. He lands a lot more punches than Woodley does, but he will have to pick his spots on when to deliver those punches. If he gets too sporadic and starts swinging, Woodley could have an opportunity to deliver a vicious knockout. But MacDonald should have the crowd on his side considering he was born in Canada and currently trains in Montreal. Both of these fighters have a goal in mind, and have the ability to potentially be the next welterweight champion. This has all of the makings of fight of the night, with the 6-foot-0 MacDonald holding a three-inch height advantage over his opponent.

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