UFC 170 was already shaping up to be a solid fight card. But with the addition of a fight between a pair of top 10 welterweights it has become one of the most highly anticipated fight cards of early 2014.
On Friday UFC officially announced a matchup between the highly touted Rory MacDonald and former middleweight contender Demian Maia.
MacDonald, currently ranked number 4 at 170-pounds according to the official UFC fighter rankings, is coming off a split decision loss to veteran Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 in November. Prior to the loss, the Tristar product was riding a five fight winning streak, including victories over Nate Diaz, B.J. Penn and Jake Ellenberger, and was already being targeted as the heir apparent to the UFC welterweight championship. But the loss to Lawler not gave MacDonald his blemish since his TKO loss to Carlos Condit at UFC 115 back in 2010, but also put put the hype surrounding him to rest for the foreseeable future.
Maia, currently ranked number six at 170-pounds, is coming off a split decision of his own at the hands of Jake Shields in the main event of UFC Fight Night 29. This marked his first loss since making the drop to welterweight after years of competing at middleweight. Prior to the loss he was riding a three fight winning streak with wins over Dong Hyun Kim, Rick Story and Jon Fitch.
UFC 170 takes place Feb. 22 at Mandalay Bay Events Center in Las Vegas. The main card is scheduled to be headlined by a light heavyweight matchup between former UFC light heavyweight champion Rashad Evans and former Strikeforce heavyweight Daniel Cormier.