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. Tony Battie Jersey . 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." JJ Redick Jersey .com) - Rick Nash scored twice and Derek Stepan chipped in a goal with one assist as the New York Rangers claimed a 5-2 decision over Calgary at the Saddledome. Orlando Magic Gear . The kind he has every so often. The kind he has when Dwyane Wade sits. James scored 43 points -- 25 in a bewildering first-quarter shooting display -- and Chris Bosh added 21, leading the Miami Heat to a 100-96 win Tuesday night over the Cleveland Cavaliers, who played their first game without injured All-Star guard Kyrie Irving. https://www.cheapmagiconline.com/718i-victor-oladipo-jersey-magic.html .com) - The Boston Bruins announced Monday that the team has signed goaltender Niklas Svedberg to a one-year contract.So you were in college for four years and managed to maintain a 3.7 GPA. This is a draft known for its large amount of one-and-done players, how important was it to you to stay all four seasons?It was key for me. I mean it was an opportunity for me to get better, to get a degree and to do everything I wanted to do, I wanted to go to college. So I was able to just improve over those four years, clearly show that Ive been able to get better, work hard, the determination that I have as well to do something really good and get a degree as well as a number of academic accolades. So it was key for me. It taught me a lot of maturity, a lot of commitment and dedication. So I think that one-and-dones are not for everyone and if its not for you definitely take the time to stay in school and get a degree, it will help you in the long run. Was it ever difficult to balance basketball and school at the same time?Yeah, I mean a lot of the time when you have papers, homework, anything thats due, youve got to develop some good time management skills and thats something I think I really valued and really got out from college, being able to be good at time management skills, being able to prioritize and being able to put things in perspective that were most important. And for me that was at the time school and now its basketball. So now I think that its taught me a lot, but there are definitely times where its hard, definitely times after games and workouts where Im drained and I have to come back and do papers and homework and stuff like that. But ultimately it all works out and for me it was something that worked out for the best. When youre in the states, what is the one thing you miss most about Canada?(Image via Lays)Everything. I just miss being by family, I miss just being home. I also miss Tim Hortons [laughs], fuzzy peaches, ketchup chips, Ruffles all-dressed chips, just little things you wouldnt think about.Youve been posting the hash tag #DraftDreams. What does that mean to you? Charlotte was fun! On to the next! One step away! #DraftDreams — Melvin Ejim (@MelvinEjim) May 30, 2014Its important. Everything Im doing right now is for the drafts for the NBA and, you know, I just want to get people, especially on social media a way that they can follow me, a way that they can interact and feel like theyre coming along for the ride as well. So its definitely a cool thing to be a part of. But everything Im doing now is exactly what it means; its a draft dream. Im working as hard as I can to make that dream come true and that draft on the 26th is what everyone right now is working towards. So its important. Its just a way for fans and people to give support and interact with me on a social media network. So which players did you grow up idolizing?I really like Hakeem Olajuwon.(Image via Sports Illustrated) He was Nigerian. I really liked his game and even when I was in college playing the four, I thought he was someone who I could look up to for skill work; I mean hes trained a lot great players like Kobe, and guys who are smaller. I also liked watching Reggie Miller; he was a competitor. And obviously Steve Nash, being a Canadian, being someone who cares so much about Canada, those are three guys I grew up idolizing.Steve Nash said before that you were underrated by NBA scouts on Twitter, what did it feel like to get that compliment from Steve? @M3llyM3I wayyyy underrated by NBA scouts. RT @YungBoiMayes: Yo Melvin had 48pts and 18 Rebss!!!!!!!!!!! — Steve Nash (@SteveNash) February 8, 2014It was cool. Anytime that you are going underrated and people are starting to pick up on what youre doing, especially someone as renowned as Steve Nash who definitely knows the game and understands what it means to be a good player, for him to go out and say something on a social network , especially when he doesnt have to, that was a pretty cool feeeling. Wes Iwundu Jersey. Whenever you have someone like Steve Nash, who interacts with players and kids in colleges, to help you out and to be willing to be involved in your career, its great and its going to help you and its going to help basketball in Canada.Were you a big Raptors fan growing up?Yeah, I liked the Raptors because they were the only team we had. I wasnt watching any other sports or teams. Just watching them grow and develop, like through the Vince Carter years, and watching them really become a good team. Like this year, when people considered them not to have a good year, they were really able to overachieve. Thats great, and it shows perseverance. Theyve been able to a great job. You excited to workout with them tomorrow?Yeah. Anytime you can back home and work out for hometown team, youre always excited. You have the opportunity to work out for the team in your own backyard. Watching Vince Carter play, and watching those games, I never would have thought Id have the opportunity to play for them and to have the opportunity to work out for them and meet the people; its great, its refreshing. Its a gratifying opportunity. Did you play any other sports growing up?Yeah I use to play soccer, track and field and volleyball in high school. I played those competitively until tenth grade when I exclusively started playing basketball. Why did basketball stick out?(Image via Ames Tribune) It was just something I continued to get better at. When I went to school in the United States when I was 15 I was going there on a basketball scholarship and I didnt want to mess it up. Luckily, the school there didnt really offer any other sports I wanted to play so there was a chance for me to dedicate myself as a player.What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you? I have 11 siblings, I guess thats pretty surprising, not all with the same mother and father, but Im the oldest. I think when people see the things that I do and a lot of the academic stuff is something I try to preach because Im the oldest and I have brothers and sisters who look up to be and I want to set the best example that I can for them. My family and my siblings are the reason I go out and do what I do, Im trying to be the best role model I can be and guide them in the right direction.Whats your best basketball memory so far?I think obviously one of my best memories is the 48/18 game and that whole incredible experience.You know, the tournament runs, the last three years Ive had a great experience with a brand new group of guys and each team and each person has a special spot in my memory for the relationships and the things weve done together. When you get on an NBA court, is there going to be one guy youre playing against and just think "holy crap," Im playing against this guy?Right now, LeBron, Kobe and Kevin Durant and than there is guys like Paul Pierce, guys you would grow up watching whos a great player. I think Ill definitely have that moment but youve got to snap out of it quickly because youre going to be guarding and playing and playing against them, and you dont want to stand there with your mouth open. You have an admiration for these guys, but you got to shake it quick because now youre on the same page as these guys. I think that it may happen with a lot of people, but its only natural. So lets say you sign that NBA contract, whats the first thing you go out and purchase? Im probably going to get something for my mom, but Im not really a big spender, Im probably going to invest most of my money and make it last. Im not thinking about buying a huge car or a big house, Ill probably get something for my mom and my family and than open up a saving account and invest my money. Thats really how you set yourself up in the future. Dont forget to check out BarDowns sit-down with fellow Canadian NBA draft prospect Tyler Ennis. ' ' '