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Ahead of his bout with Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 in November, Rory MacDonald was forced to field yet another question about potentially fighting then-welterweight champ Georges St-Pierre. Despite almost exhausting all methods of saying no by this point, the B.C. native once again shot down the notion of facing his teammate. However, MacDonalds reluctance appeared to raise the ire of Tyron Woodley, who was preparing for a bout with Josh Koscheck. "Ive asked to fight tough guys because one day I want that belt Georges St-Pierre has in front of him," Woodley said at the UFC 167 pre-fight press conference. "Rorys like, I wont fight him. If he doesnt want to fight him, then he needs to get out of the way. Guys like me will fight him." Though the St-Pierre issue is now moot due to the Montreal fighter vacating the belt and taking a leave of absence, Woodleys words almost seem prophetic as he is set to face MacDonald in the co-main event of UFC 174 in Vancouver this Saturday. MacDonald admittedly isnt a fan of Woodleys tactics, but said he wasnt bothered by the former NCAA Division I wrestlers verbal potshot last fall. "I think it was his way of trying to put a stab at me, but also, maybe he doesnt want to fight me," MacDonald said during a phone interview with UFC.ca. "I think he knows in the back of his head that Im a dangerous fighter and he doesnt want to deal with me on the way to a title shot. But I dont really get too stressed about what people have to say. Im just focused on my own path, what I need to do and thats all. "Hes got his own thing and its got him to where he is. Everyones got to do their own thing. Im just focused on myself. I wouldnt go about it the way he does and the way he speaks sometimes, but it doesnt bother me. Its just the way he is." Regardless of Woodleys jab, MacDonalds focus remains locked on earning a shot at current welterweight titleholder Johny Hendricks. Though his bout with Woodley remains pivotal in the 170-pound division, the winner could be leapfrogged in the pecking order by the victor of Julys battle between Lawler and Matt Brown. As always, simply getting the job done wont be good enough. MacDonald knows he needs to make a statement against Woodley. "I want to have the greatest performance of my career so far," said MacDonald. "I want to be at my best every fight. I think doing that will get me where I want to be. If I just keep improving every fight, keep on impressing and growing as a martial artist, people will recognize that. "(Fans can expect) a technical and precise performance, but at the same time, exciting and dynamic." Stylistically, MacDonald and Woodley make for an exciting fight on paper — especially considering how much theyve both grown as fighters in recent years. Though MacDonald, 24, is eight years younger than Woodley, 32, he began competing in mixed martial arts in October 2005, four months before the St. Louis fighter made his respective debut. Woodley will always have his wrestling credentials to fall back on, but has recently emerged as one of the most dangerous strikers in the UFCs 170-pound division. Not only has he put his heavy hands to good use in wins over Koscheck and Jay Hieron, his ability to quickly cover distance is nothing short of breathtaking. His most recent outing saw him pick up a second-round TKO victory over Carlos Condit when the former interim welterweight champ suffered a knee injury due to Woodleys onslaught. MacDonald said he has the tools necessary to neutralize Woodleys strengths, but opted not to get into details. "Youll see that night," MacDonald said. "Im not going to tell you how I technically beat him, but Im confident in my solutions to those problems." As far as MacDonald is concerned, the real question is whether Woodley can handle what he brings to the table. "I try not to worry about my opponent," MacDonald began. "I have to perform in front of any kind of opponent. It really doesnt matter what style they are. I just feel I have the solutions to beat anybody in the welterweight division right now. "I think hes fought some good guys and well-rounded fighters, but I really feel like hes fighting the best on Saturday night. I dont think hes ready for it." Erik Karlsson Jersey .ca! Hi Kerry, Im sure youve received many emails wondering what your take is on the Spezza goal that looked like Neil blatantly kicked it in while standing directly in the middle of the crease where, you know, usually a goalie is to make a save but couldnt be due to Neil being there! Thanks! Jon - Westfield, MA Jon:  Lets first ask Henrik Lundqvist what he thought of the scoring of the Sens second goal with . Logan Couture Jersey . The two were in the batting cage moments before game time. Bautista was taking final warm up cuts. Pillar was hitting soft toss. The one-time utility player turned All-Star pulled aside the clubs young, fourth outfielder and offered him some advice. http://www.sharkssale.com/. Jamies number grades given are out of five, with five being the best mark. Henrik Lundqvist, New York Rangers (5) - Simply put, Lundqvist was brilliant. Brent Burns Jersey . About seven hours before facing Washington in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference second round series, team officials said the oft-injured Bynum would miss the rest of the playoffs and would not even be with the team for the rest of the post-season. Evander Kane Jersey .com) - Real Madrid claimed its 16th consecutive victory across all competitions on Saturday after earning a 2-1 win over Malaga at the Estadio La Rosaleda. MIAMI -- The Miami Heat signed free-agent forwards Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger on Monday, and brought back incumbent point guard Mario Chalmers. All three deals were agreed to previously, but not signed until the Heat had more pieces of their salary-cap puzzle put into place. McRoberts signed a four-year deal that will pay him $5.3 million next season. Chalmers got a two-year deal that will have him earning about $4 million next season. Granger also has a two-year deal and will make just over $1 million next season. McRoberts averaged 8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists for Charlotte last season. Heat President Pat Riley said McRoberts was one of Miamis "main targets" in free agency. "We are delighted that this multi-faceted player will help us immensely," Riley said. Chhalmers has been with Miami for all six of his pro seasons, helping win two championships.dddddddddddd He averaged 9.8 points and 4.9 assists last season and shot 38 per cent from 3-point range. "Its great to have Mario back," Riley said. "Were happy that he wants to continue his career in Miami, hes one of our core players, and I believe he will have a great season." Granger has appeared in 556 career NBA regular-season games and averaged 17.4 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists. Hes been bothered by injuries for most of the past two seasons. "One of our main priorities this off-season was obtaining a proven veteran like Danny with All-Star experience," Riley said. "We expect him to be a multi-position player and have a very successful season in our system." ' ' '
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