The UFC 145 event will feature a welterweight bout between rising start Rory MacDonald and English knockout artist Che Mills that’s set for Saturday night in Atlanta, Georgia. This fight makes little sense on paper as MacDonald is thought to be the future of the division, while Mills only has one UFC fight under his belt. However, stylistically it could be very exciting as both fighters look for the finish. Let’s see how this one breaks down.
Che Mills (14-4, 1NC) comes into this fight with a highlight reel KO against Chris Cope in his promotional debut at UFC 138. Mills has won five consecutive fights and has only lost two fights since starting out (1-2) in his MMA career. Mills is a well built welterweight with very good power in his hands and knees, and a large percentage of his fights end in the first round. However, his weakness seems to be his ground game as 75% of his losses have come via submission.
Rory MacDonald (12-1) is coming off a TKO win over MMA veteran Mike Pyle at UFC 133. MacDonald’s lone loss came against current UFC interim welterweight champion Carlos Condit, but MacDonald pushed Condit to the limit before being stopped via TKO with seven seconds left in the bout. MacDonald has put together back to back wins since that Condit fight, and has finished six opponents via submission with another five via TKO/KO. The only person that has taken MacDonald to the judges is Nate Diaz, who is nearly impossible to finish .
MacDonald is the favorite at (-550) and Mills as the underdog at (+425).
I would have to agree that MacDonald is the heavy favorite, but I’m not sure he should be that big of a favorite. However, he is the more well rounded fighter while fighting arguably tougher competition. Also, MacDonald’s Tri-Star gym is thought to be one of the best in MMA.
Although MacDonald is well versed in striking, he’ll want to get the larger Mlls to the ground for the easiest path to victory. As I mentioned, Mills has been submission prone in his losses and most of MacDonald’s wins are via submission. So in a sense, this will be a grappler vs. striker matchup but I’m sure MacDonald will set up his takedown attempts with striking. He’ll look to close the distance and clinch to get Mills to the ground, or time a takedown as Mills becomes overly aggressive with his strikes.
I expect MacDonald to be able to win this fight via submission. He’s fighting with a ton of confidence, and should be able to get Mills to the ground at some point and take advantage of a submission opening. If not, he needs to be leary of standing with Mills who does have big power and can end a fight in a variety of ways. This should be entertaining while it lasts.