16-11-2018, Saat: 03:32
VANCOUVER - Rory MacDonald says he doesnt feel any added pressure to carry Canadas mixed martial arts torch in Georges St-Pierres absence. In fact, his mentors hiatus from the UFC makes McDonalds quest to reach the top of the welterweight division a little easier. "It opens things up for me to get to where I want to be," MacDonald said this week. "Ive learned a lot from Georges. No extra pressure, Ive just got to be myself." It remains to be seen if St-Pierre will return to the sport he dominated, but the 24-year-old MacDonald — who goes by the nickname "Ares" — is intent on continuing his climb this Saturday at UFC 174 when he takes on Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley in the co-main event at Rogers Arena. Both men have their sights set on Johny Hendricks welterweight title, with MacDonald ranked as the No. 2 challenger and Woodley at No. 3. Shy in front of the media glare, MacDonald said he just has to continue working on what has brought him to this point. "I think people like me for who I am," said MacDonald, who was born in Quesnel, B.C., but now trains in Montreal. "Ive gotten to the position Im in because of being who I am — a couple stumbles along the way but I feel like Im hitting my stride right now." One of those stumbles actually came in Vancouver when MacDonald (16-2) lost at UFC 115 in June 2010 to Carlos Condit. His only other defeat came to Robbie Lawler in a split decision at UFC 167 in November, but MacDonald rebounded to beat Demian Maia in a split decision at UFC 170 in February. "You pick and choose your spots. You play between defence and offence against other good fighters," said MacDonald. "I just had a great training camp. No injuries and things went great. I felt great in my sparrings and my techniques are sharp." Woodley (13-2), a two-time All-American wrestler at the University of Missouri, has just three UFC bouts under his belt, including a technical knockout victory over Condit at UFC 171 in March. MacDonald said if he fights to his strengths against Woodley, he should come out on top. "I know the techniques. They come out as instinct right now," said MacDonald. "Ive trained them so much. So Ive just got to go in there and do my thing. "Im ready for everything. Last time here was unbelievable, the response I got. If its the same, more, or less Ill be ready." In a era where athletes in all sports are constantly looking for an edge, MacDonald said he doesnt study video of his opponents before a fight, preferring to use his instincts. "Ive fought a lot of people in the past — never seen them, never heard of them and had to deal with their problems," he said. "I find it easier to do it like that, to react in the cage." MacDonald is hoping for the same against Woodley on Saturday night. "Hes a great fighter. To beat him you have to be tricky and use good techniques," he said. "I feel very confident in my abilities and the solutions I have." Derek Carr Jersey . 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The top-two defenceman has four goals and 20 assists, 30 penalty minutes and a plus-6 rating in 53 games with Columbus this season.Here are my thoughts on Dwane Caseys contract extension, Michael Carter Williams as rookie of the year, Mark Jacksons firing in Golden State, RC Buford as executive of the year and Kevin Durant as most valuable player. 1. Dwane Casey contract extension: Makes complete sense to me. Stability in leadership positions in any organization is vital to success and the fact that you know what the vision/direction of the Raptors will be for the foreseeable future, thats a positive. He earned that extension with a solid approach the past three years. The building process of creep-crawl-walk-run is in the walk stage right now and thats a solid development. Lots and lots of work ahead to get it to the run stage but usually an important part of that vital next step beyond better players is having consistency and shared vision at the top to see the job through. The right decision was made. A good day for not only Dwane Casey but for Raptors fans. 2. Michael Carter Williams (76ers): Rookie of the Year choice was a no-brainer. Hes actually a better pro than what I saw from him in college at Syracuse. Wonderful all-round talent that impacts the game on so many fronts. If they can add a solid supporting cast around him, hes got a chance to be one of the elite lead guards in the league for a long time. A real positive amidst a season of frustration in Philly. 3. Mark Jackson (Warriors): Cant say Im surprised by this move. With two assistant coachhes being let go during the regular season and the constant rumors, you knew that something behind the scenes had run amiss in the Bay Area.dddddddddddd He did a good job in his run there and in my opinion, deserves and will get another crack at it at some point, possibly quite soon. Opens up a very attractive job. If Im in their shoes, the guy I go get is Stan Van Gundy. He did a terrific job in both Miami and Orlando as a head coach and, after taking two years off, youd be getting an energized guy with big time leadership and head coaching experience. Lots of talent and money invested there so go get a guy that can help you see full return on your investment. 4. RC Buford (Spurs): The model franchise. Partnership, leadership, basketball savvy and smarts all in effect in major doses. Behind the scenes, Buford sets the tone for the positive direction for this organization. No panic, always the big picture in mind and a terrific feel for the team concept. They do things in a first class fashion and his support of Gregg Popovich in the shadows is impressive. Well earned and well deserved. 5. Kevin Durant (Thunder): If you havent watched/listened to Durants MVP acceptance speech, please do so. Wow! Ive always been a huge fan of him as a person and player but now Im head over heels about him. Gotta tell you, he had me crying. 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