It had been in the pipeline for some time, and now the UFC have confirmed that a welterweight bout between Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine will headline the UFC Fight Night 54 card at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The Canadian MacDonald will look to win his third in a row against the former Strikeforce champion Saffiedine, with this fight potentially being dubbed a number 1 contender’s fight.
Rory MacDonald has compiled an impressive 8-2 record in the UFC and, at just 25, remains one of the biggest contenders in the welterweight division. Ranked #2 in the official UFC rankings, MacDonald has defeated the likes of Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia and Jake Ellenberger to prove his worth as one of the best 170-pounders in the world.
With his well-rounded arsenal of attacks and experience in big fights, MacDonald will headline a card for the first time in his UFC career, and will do so on home soil. While Saffiedine is ranked at #10 in the division, the fact that he has defeated a plethora of top contenders and is a former Strikeforce champion makes him a tough test for ‘Ares’.
Saffiedine was victorious in his UFC debut in January, though has yet to fight since. With a number of setbacks stopping scheduled bouts with Jake Ellenberger and Robbie Lawler, Tarec finally gets the opportunity to follow up from a successful start to his UFC career when facing MacDonald.
Winner of five straight, ‘Sponge’ will break into the top 5 with a win over MacDonald, and could potentially get a shot at the title if he impresses. Robbie Lawler, who defeated Rory MacDonald last year, is set to rematch Johny Hendricks for the title next, and this helps Saffiedine – who is yet to face either fighter.
UFC Fight Night 54 will be held on October 4 at Scotiabank Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, with the five-round welterweight bout between Rory MacDonald and Tarec Saffiedine headlining the card.