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Rory MacDonald changes nickname before expected UFC title shot

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Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sp

Rory MacDonald is going through an image remake as he waits for his shot at the UFC welterweight title.

MacDonald (18-2), who is expected to face the winner of the Dec. 6 fight between champion Johny Hendricks and Robbie Lawler, is now sporting a new look with a Mohawk style haircut.

He's also dumped his previous nickname, "Ares."

It was reported Wednesday by UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani that MacDonald will now be known as "Red King."

His friend, lightweight Kajan Johnson, who, like MacDonald, is originally from British Columbia in Western Canada, and traveled to the other end of the country to train in Montreal at the Tristar Gym, gave MacDonald the name. The name Rory is an Anglicized form of an Irish/Gaelic name that means Red King.

MacDonald, considered Canada's biggest active fighting star with the sabbatical of Georges St-Pierre, has won eight of his last nine fights. He's coming off three straight wins over top ten contenders, Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffiedine, which has put him next in line for a title shot.

His lone loss in the last four years was to Lawler via split decision.