is no stranger to fighting opponents older and more experienced than he is. So if you were to ask the 20-year-old if it's too soon to face a guy like final WEC welterweight champion Carlos Condit
in only his second UFC fight, he'll tell you it only feels natural.
"I think is kind of like the perfect time for me to be fighting Carlos Condit," MacDonald told MMAFighting.com. "My career's been progressive every fight, progressing, progressing, progressing and I think this is the natural course for me to be fighting Carlos."
It was only a year ago when many considered Condit one of the top 10 welterweights in the world. But entering Saturday's fight at UFC 115
, Condit will be coming off a difficult split decision win over Jake Ellenberger and a split decision loss to Martin Kampmann. Still, Condit is considered an elite fighter who was undefeated in five WEC fights with three successful title defenses.
Accomplishments aside, MacDonald says there's always weaknesses to exploit.
"He's definitely one of the tougher guys in the UFC," he said. "But he's got some holes that I believe i can expose and work to my strengths."
MacDonald trains out of Toshido Martial Arts in Kelowna, BC, Canada and has been punching in time the past year off-and-on with none other than UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre. And although MacDonald has worked with St-Pierre and Olympic-level wrestlers, he doesn't think wrestling will necessarily be his edge against Condit.
"I think I'm pretty well-rounded everywhere, so it doesn't matter where the fight is going," he said. "I'm going to be able to show my skills everywhere. It doesn't really matter. I think anywhere the fight goes, it's going to be a tough for for Carlos."
MacDonald says he was "definitely nervous" with the pressure to perform well in his UFC debut, but after beating veteran Mike "The Joker" Guymon at UFC Fight Night in January, he says Octagon jitters will not be an issue this time around.
"I took a few things out [of the fight]. My mental state going in, a little bit of confidence," MacDonald said. "Just made me work harder when I got back to training."
Besides his own confidence, MacDonald will be backed by a legion of hometown supporters at the General Motors Place in Vancouver, which is something not all athletes have the pleasure experiencing. It's something he feels very lucky about.
"It's one of my dreams come true," MacDonald said. "It's not often people get to fight in front of their hometown crowd in the biggest organizations in the world. It's a pretty cool blessing."