Former Strikeforce welterweight champion Tarec Saffiedine is a man on a mission. After a successful UFC debut in January against Hyun Gyu Lim, Saffiedine has been looking to get back into the cage. He was initially expected to face Jake Ellenberger at UFC 172 in May, but had to withdraw due to injury.
'The Sponge', however, is feeling better and ready to get back to work. First up? If Saffiedine had his way, it'd be Rory MacDonald.
Saffiedine recently called out MacDonald on The MMA Hour. He told Helwani he saw MacDonald's UFC 174 victory over Tyron Woodley and that gave him confidence he could defeat him.
"I watched that fight. Rory looked pretty good, he's a great fighter," Saffiedine said. "But you know, after watching the fight, I was like, 'I can beat him.' I have the tools and I have the skills and the mindset to beat the guy. He's a great fighter, one of the best and he's really close to a title shot and I want to fight the best. I truly believe I can beat the guy. Hopefully they give me that chance. I want to fight Rory, he's an amazing fighter and we can put on an amazing fight, I believe. I can beat him."
As reported on Wednesday on Fox Sports 1's UFC Tonight by Ariel Helwani, MacDonald believes that's a fight that he feels is appropriate for the next step in his career.
"That's a fight that makes sense," MacDonald told Helwani. "We'll see what the UFC says after some fights this summer, though. I'm interested in what's gonna get me to the belt. So. whatever the UFC says, I'm down."
Saffiedine, 27, last fought in January when he defeated Lim at UFC Fight NIght 34 via unanimous decision. His record stands at 15-3.
MacDonald, 24, most recently competed at UFC 174 where he defeated Tyron Woodley by unanimous decision. His current professional record is 17-2.