But while MacDonald has reasons for wanting to fight both, he's not about to pick his preferred opponent.
"I just want to fight the best man, so, whoever," said MacDonald, who stated his case for a title shot with a nasty third-round finish of former Strikeforce champ Tarec Saffiedine in the main event of Saturday night's UFC Fight Night 54 in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Hendricks, the current champion, has no love lost for TriStar, the Montreal gym which his home to both MacDonald and former champion Georges St-Pierre. Lawler scored a split decision over MacDonald at UFC 167, which was his only loss in his past nine fights.
But MacDonald not only demurred on which fighter he'd prefer to meet, he won't pick a winner of the UFC 181 bout, either.
"I don't know," MacDonald said. "They're both really good guys, they had a really close fight in the last one and Johny pulled it out in the last minute, the last round, so who knows? He's going to bring it. I just hope they put on a good fight again and may the best man win."
If anything, MacDonald saw the bright side of his loss to Lawler: It forced him to run a gauntlet of solid opponents, which has helped put him into his current position.
"I got to experience fighting some really good guys, like Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley who are top guys in the division. It was on a big stage, those fights," he said. "It gives me experience with top-level guys. I feel like it's just the natural step is the title shot."