Rory MacDonald will no longer fight Hector Lombard at UFC 186, since the latter has allegedly tested positive for steroids, but the welterweight’s coach believes MacDonald still would, if of course, he was able.
Early on Tuesday it was revealed that MacDonald-Lombard had been pulled from the April 25th event, and then later on, it was reported that Lombard failed his UFC 183 drug test. As a result, Lombard will be called to appear in front of the Nevada Commission, which oversaw his decision win over Josh Burkman last month.
Now it remains to be seen what’s next for MacDonald, who is currently ranked #2 in the UFC’s welterweight division. The fighter’s coach, Tristar’s Firas Zahabi, recently spoke to MMA Junkie.com about that very subject. While doing so, Zahabi had this to say about whether MacDonald could be set for a title shot:
“Hector’s out of the picture,” Zahabi said. “I think Rory is in good standing in a way, because he’s been promised a title shot twice, and he’s proven himself already. Who else could do a title fight right now?
Zahabi went on to note that Kelvin Gastelum just lost to Tyron Woodley (who has been defeated by MacDonald), and that it remains to be seen what unfolds between Johny Hendricks and Matt Brown on March 14th. Zahabi acknowledged that MacDonald could be tapped to face champion Robbie Lawler next, but added that the 25 year-old is ready to work his way into a title fight, so much so:
“I think he would still fight Hector. But obviously, (he can’t) if (Hector) gets suspended, which I’m sure is going to happen, because that’s why they pulled the fight.”
Yes, it’s a pretty big let down that fans won’t get to see MacDonald face Lombard, or any time soon, any ways. Even if the powerful welterweight doesn’t get suspended, chances are the UFC will book MacDonald for something else, and it could very well be versus Lawler.
In the fall, it was announced that MacDonald had secured a title shot, due to his memorable win over Tarec Saffiedine. Then, Lawler-Hendricks II went down in December, and since it was such a close fight, the promotion had planned to book a rubber match between the two. Lawler needed a break after having a busy 2014 year, however, and Hendricks was signed to fight Brown at UFC 185.