Rory MacDonald has been in some battles. Take his back-and-forth bout with Robbie Lawler at UFC 189, voted by readers as the best fight ever. Blood streamed down both of their faces for most of the five rounds until Lawler dropped his opponent with a left jab that broke his nose.
So it was a bit surprising to hear MacDonald discuss his second-round TKO loss to Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi in September the way he did on Monday. Speaking on Ariel Helwani's MMA Show, MacDonald opened up about a bad training camp and lacking motivation despite it being one of the biggest fights in the promotion's history.
"I didn't prepare myself properly," MacDonald said. "I had too many distractions and just wasn't focused. I didn't have a fire in my veins like I usually do.
"Compared to when I first started in martial arts, my life is very comfortable. I make better money now and have a better life outside of fighting. I got very comfortable and didn't put myself out of my comfort zone training for this fight. That was the first mistake. When you don't have that, there's no focus, no passion, no fire, and it showed in the fight. It turned out to be the worst performance of my career against my best opportunity."
Mousasi dominated MacDonald from the opening bell. He landed jabs effectively throughout the bout and took his opponent down with ease.
MacDonald admitted to Helwani he "knew that I was going to lose the fight" between the first and second rounds.
"During the fight I felt frozen. I felt like everything was underwater," MacDonald said. "All my footwork, all my punching ... I couldn't gauge anything. Everything in my mind was slow. There was no fire, no passion to make me want to fight hard. I pretty much knew it was finished."