5 Reasons to Watch UFC Fight Night 53 and 54

Strap yourselves in, UFC fans—Saturday is a busy one in the MMA world.

Both UFC Fight Night 53 and 54 come to you live on Saturday, making the rare doubleheader a long affair in which you must be a marathon man to complete. However, given some of the matchups, you may want to stick around for these fights.

With names like Rory MacDonald, Tarec Saffiedine and Gunnar Nelson gracing the cards, you can be sure you will have a night’s (or morning’s) worth of entertainment.

Need a reason to watch these fights? I will give you five right now in hopes you give the doubleheader a view.

Begin Slideshow

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

The Beaten Path: 5 Prospects to Watch in October

The MMA world will be occupied in the month of October with plenty of UFC, Bellator and regional MMA action. If you like lots of MMA, get excited because your time is here.

With all these events and fights, you are bound to see some great prospects in action. Here at The Beaten Path, it’s our job to find you the men and women with the best potential and point you toward them, as they could be the future of the sport.

So, who are the prospects you should watch in October? Here is a guide to the five to keep tabs on.

Begin Slideshow

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC 178 Results: 3 Fights to Make for Demetrious Johnson

Can Demetrious Johnson actually get any better? His bout with Chris Cariaso at UFC 178 was certainly a mismatch, but his victory was arguably even more emphatic than most expected.

No longer content to simply outpoint his foes, Johnson is now either flattening his challengers or making them cry “uncle.”

His casual dominance has given UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby a bit of a headache. Is there anyone left for the diminutive champion to beat? That’s a tough one, but I have the unenviable task of taking a crack at it.

Read on for some potential future challengers to Johnson’s throne.

Begin Slideshow

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

A Complete Guide to UFC Fight Nights 53 and 54

UFC 178 was pretty sweet, but these days the fighting calendar waits for no fan. The train pulls back out of the station today with two destinations on the docket for Saturday.

The first will happen in the middle of the afternoon U.S. East Coast time, when UFC Fight Night 53 kicks off from Stockholm, Sweden. Headlining the 11-fight slate will be Icelandic grappling standout Gunnar Nelson, staking his undefeated pro record against wrestle-brawling American Rick Story.

That evening, it’s Fight Night 54. The main event there is Rory MacDonald, the Tristar prodigy welterweight division’s resident fightbot, who may be in position to challenge for the title if he can defeat sharp-striking Tarec Saffiedine in front of his Canadian countrymen.

It’s a lot to take in. So let us help you. Here’s a complete guide to both cards, including quick picks for both undercards and breakdowns, predictions and viewing coordinates for every main card bout. 

Begin Slideshow

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC

UFC Fight Night 54: Rory MacDonald Should Secure a Title Shot with Win

When the UFC touches down in Halifax, Nova Scotia this Saturday, they are bringing with them the fight that may determine the next contender for the welterweight title. No. 2-ranked Rory MacDonald takes on No. 9-ranked Tarec Saffiedine in the main event of UFC Fight Night 54, and with a win, MacDonald should secure a shot at the welterweight championship, and the winner of Hendricks vs. Lawler at UFC 181.

Around this time last year, Rory MacDonald was gearing up for his UFC 167 fight, alongside his good friend and training partner, then-UFC welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre. St. Pierre was defending the title against Johny Hendricks, and Rory was facing Robbie Lawler in a title eliminator for the welterweight division. MacDonald was constantly facing the question:

“Will you fight Georges?”  

Rory kept insisting that he would not be fighting his friend, while UFC President Dana White proclaimed the exact opposite.

If both Tri-Star teammates won that night, they’d be staring head-on at one another atop the UFC welterweight division. Fast forward one year, and Hendricks is the champion and MacDonald is back to being one fight away from the championship.

MacDonald lost to Lawler that night by split-decision, in a very close fight that he nearly finished at the very end of the third round. He went on to win unanimous decisions over Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley, giving him seven wins in his last eight fights.  

Tarec Saffiedine made his UFC debut in January in Singapore, Thailand with a win over Hyun Gyu Lim, who was a short-notice replacement for Jake Ellenberger. Saffiedine was the final Strikeforce welterweight champion, taking the title from Nate Marquardt in the final fight under the Strikeforce banner in January of 2013. He’s riding a five-fight winning streak going into the bout with MacDonald, and his only loss in his last nine fights was against Tyron Woodley in 2011.

If MacDonald can get past a former champion in Saffiedine, he will have done enough to earn a title shot against the winner of Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler. MacDonald is 10 fights into his UFC career at 25 years old, and he matures and improves his technique each fight we see him in.  

He has had a few performances that were lackluster, where he appeared to be fighting on the safer side and being a bit more risk-averse, but lately he’s been fighting with more aggression and looks to hurt his opponent with every strike.

MacDonald told Yahoosports.com when this fight was booked back in August that he is hungry for the title, saying:

“I’m coming for the belt. I’m going to demolish everyone I have to to get to that point.”


MacDonald is great at using his long reach to sting his opponent with jabs and fire powerful kicks to the body. He has a strong mental game and his confidence level usually fuels his unique striking displays. He uses his size and strength to shove off his opponents takedown attempts, and he defended well against clinch attempts from Tyron Woodley.

With Saffiedine training at the grappling-centric Team Quest in California, as well as his background in Judo, it will be interesting to see if he tries to grapple with MacDonald.

MacDonald is entering into his prime, and if he truly has shaken the mental aspects of his game that were holding him back, then we are looking at a future champion.

Read more UFC news on BleacherReport.com

Courtesy of :Bleacher Report – UFC