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Rory MacDonald's Trainer Says His Game Plan Needs to Be Flexible
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.21.2014

Rory MacDonald's trainer Firas Zahabi spoke yesterday with MMAjunkie about MacDonald's fight with Demian Maia. Check out the highlights:

On what MacDonald needs to do: "He has to go in there and read and react, and not just have a cemented game plan. The game plan has to be flexible. Ground-and-pound and MMA jiu-jitsu is very different from Brazilian jiu-jitsu."

On working with two-time Olympian Travis Stevens: "[Stevens] came in and helped us with Maia's unique method of taking people down. [Maia] doesn't really use judo or just wrestling; he uses a blend of the two. I have more coaching stuff. I share the credit, share the workload, and get the job done."

On not wanting the fight to go to the ground: "I don't think it's panic mode at all. But the ground, it's too general. Are you on top or on the bottom? If you want to go to the ground, make sure you're on top. A guy like Maia is dangerous off his back, but it's safer than a grappling match. You can hit the guy, you can break his ribs, you can do a lot of great things from the top position."

On MacDonald's loss to Robbie Lawler: "It's not a bad thing if you learn from it. It remains to be seen whether it was a good thing or a bad thing for this young fighter's career. The Robbie Lawler was a good fight to prepare us for future lessons. A great inspiration to look from is Robbie himself. He got cut from the UFC. His career took a major detour, and now look: He's fighting for the world championship, and he's an inspiring guy."


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