These days, Rory MacDonald calls himself Ares.
As the Kelowna, B.C.-native describes it, the Greek god of war’s namesake is more of a stage name, a persona he adopts each time he steps into an Ultimate Fighting Championship octagon.
“People that know me know I’m friendly and quiet,” MacDonald says. “But I take it seriously when I fight. The headspace I’m in is that I’m going to war. I’m willing to die in there.”
After impressive bounce-back wins against Nate Diaz and Mike Pyle last year, the 22-year-old (sporting a 12-1 record) goes into Saturday’s UFC 145 co-main event against Che Mills having fully earned the right to shed his old “Waterboy” nickname.
“I never really liked people calling me that,” he says. “It was given to me by friends, they made a joke out of it. It’s more of a personality thing, I felt like changing it to something that’s more of a stage name.”
Ares works much better.