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J.T. Torres on Rory MacDonald: ‘I don't think his level of technicality in BJJ can be compared to my level’

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Rory MacDonald will face the winner of Johny Hendricks vs. Robbie Lawler for the UFC title in 2015, but he won’t sit and wait for his next MMA fight.

The UFC welterweight contender is set to challenge grappling wizard J.T. Torres at Metamoris 5 in Long Beach on Nov. 22, and Torres wants to ruin MacDonald’s perfect year.

Torres, who fought to a draw with Victor Estima at Metamoris 2, wasn’t expecting to face MacDonald at the upcoming Metamoris event.

"I was a little surprised when Metamoris offered me to compete against Rory," Torres told, "but I was 100 percent down for it."

With a 9-2 UFC record, including wins over jiu-jitsu black belts B.J. Penn, Demian Maia and Nate Diaz, MacDonald hasn’t competed in grappling tournaments in a while, and that’s why Torres believes his ground game is in another level.

However, MacDonald’s size advantage can play a big factor Saturday night.

"I wasn’t surprised (MacDonald took the fight), to be honest with you, because he is a high level athlete himself, who happens to have a black belt in BJJ as well," Torres said. "To be honest, I really do not know what to really think of his BJJ other than that he is a solid black belt.

"I don't think his level of technicality in BJJ can be compared to my level, but his 20-30 pound size advantage over me can even things out during the match."

MacDonald is currently riding a three-fight winning streak inside the Octagon, and his victory over Demian Maia taught Torres a few things about MacDonald’s grappling skills.

"Absolutely," he said of the MacDonald-Maia bout in February, "I was able to see a glimpse of his ground game in that fight which has helped me develop a few lines of attack."

Former World BJJ Nogi champion Torres wants to make his MMA debut "one day soon," and a win over a UFC contender, even in grappling competition, would be huge for his future plans.

"I have always had an interest in MMA and I for sure plan to fight in the near future," Torres said. "Regardless of this match, I will definitely be making my MMA debut one day soon.

"I think a submission win over Rory will help me get my name out there to the MMA fans, so when I go ahead decided to make that MMA debut I will a solid following."