Rory MacDonald is the quiet man no more.
The Canadian entered Round 5 of his welterweight title clash with Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 up 39-37 on all three scorecards before being brutally stopped by the champion. 13 months later, Lawler is no longer the UFC's welterweight champion, and MacDonald is no longer the UFC's anything. The 27-year-old confirmed his move to Bellator last Friday.
Speaking on The MMA Hour on Monday, MacDonald - whose allegiance to his former employers has now ceased - cast doubt over the validity of Lawler's victory last July. 'The Red King' threw a not-so-subtle barb at his former conqueror, implying something may have been afoot with the results of Lawler's drug tests following the enthralling contest:
Actually right before this conversation, something very interesting came up to me. We are going to have to see where it goes, but it has something to do with the title fight against Robbie Lawler. Some very interesting information just came about. We'll see what happens with that. I don't really want to speak too loud about it, but it's something that really grabbed my attention and I think a lot of people are going to be very interested to hear about this if it actually is true, I have to do my research. But it could be a potentially very big thing and it pisses me off. It pisses me right off to hear about it, to be honest. I feel very robbed.
I worked hard for that fight and I fought my heart out. I left everything in there. I left my soul and I really left everything out there. I came in honest, and I always have my entire career. I don't play with any dirty drugs, any performance enhancers or something I don't believe in morally. I always believe in myself that if I work hard, work on my techniques, train hard that I can get to the top and be the best. The fact that whatever happened in there, if this is true, it pisses me right off to my core. Some test results came out four times higher than the limit for my fight with him. It could be bullshit. That's why we have to look into it. I don't want to start pointing fingers or anything. Look at that team's history. It makes me very suspicious but I can't go out and start saying for sure without making my research that all this is true.
Lawler has never failed a drugs test in his MMA career, and UFC 189 was the first pay-per-view event to fall under the UFC's partnership with USADA.
As Bloody Elbow report, it's possible that MacDonald is referring to the following tweet from @Dimspace. It's worth noting, however, that these results are from a June test by the Nevada State Athletic Commission prior to the organisation's deal with USADA.
Lawlers test data from 189... Urine tests.. Lutinizing Hormone levels 3x current wada limit, t/e ratio whacky... pic.twitter.com/xpaT6Ybrk5
— Dave/Dim (@dimspace) July 30, 2016
While MacDonald isn't outright accusing Lawler of anything, it's worth keeping an eye on any developments now that the Canadian possibly has a bone to pick with the UFC and represents a rival company.
Lawler lost five of his eight fights between 2009 and 2012 before joining the UFC, where the former champion's record stands at 8-2 following his upset defeat to Tyron Woodley a month ago today.