UFC on FOX 5’s Rory MacDonald Trains Less to Fight More

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Photo by Al Bello/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

For UFC on FOX 5’s Rory MacDonald, life is all about fighting. And when it comes to fighting, the Canadian up-and-comer wants to stay as active as possible.

Because of recent changes in his training habits, the 23-year-old finds himself in a position to be ready to fight at a moment’s notice. This, according to MacDonald, will allow him to be healthy enough to compete at any point.

So when the UFC comes calling, Tristar Gym’s young welterweight will answer with no hesitation.

“For me, health is the most important,” MacDonald said on a recent media call. “I know how to fight, [so] all I really need is my health.”

Nowadays, MacDonald focuses on staying healthy, and not allowing his body to get too heavy when he’s not in training camp.

Keeping the weight down is key in his day-to-day routine. Staying close to the 170-pound welterweight limit keeps the opportunity to jump in the octagon more realistic, and not so much a struggle during a weight cut.

“As long as I keep my weight in check, it won’t be a problem for me to make 170 [pounds] anymore,” he said. “I’m pretty much ready to go all the time. With how I’ve changed things up … it’s going to work well with me fighting a lot more.”

According to MacDonald, the secret to fighting more often is fighting less often … sort of.

Carefully choosing when and how far he should push his body is now a vital part of his training. A younger MacDonald might have come into the gym and gotten to work, regardless of the amount of punishment his body absorbed up to that point. But he’s gotten smarter in his time as a fighter.

“I’m just being a little [smarter] with my training, as far as taking days off,” he said. “Before I just never took days off, even if I was hurt.

“When I feel like my body’s breaking down a little bit, I just take a day off … It’s been keeping me healthy.”

Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images

Now fully healthy, MacDonald is preparing to fight B.J. Penn at this Saturday’s UFC on FOX card in Seattle. Penn, a former two-division UFC champion, is arguably the toughest fight MacDonald will see in his young career.

UFC president Dana White said on the same media call that MacDonald won’t easily walk in there and run over Penn. He doesn’t get cut or knocked out, White said, so it’s assumed that the fight would result in a lot of bumps and bruises that warrant a vacation for its participants afterwards.

MacDonald, however, isn’t thinking about taking a long leave. The training regimen might have its limitations, but the fight nights still need to come as often as possible.

He’s already scheduling when he’ll be ready for another fight after he gets through Penn.

“I just want to fight more often,” he said. “After this fight with B.J., I’m pretty much ready to fight in March.”

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