Rory MacDonald UFC 133..

PHILADELPHIA — On a show built around some of the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s ( UFC ) most experienced competitors, Saturday’s standout performance belonged to a 22-year-old.

Welterweight fighter Rory MacDonald’s technical knockout of Mike Pyle in less than four minutes Saturday at UFC 133 capped his third dominant performance in four fights for the promotion. MacDonald, who trains with welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre, outstruck Pyle 27-11 during the standing portions of the bout before taking him down and finishing him off with a series of elbow strikes to the head.

“He went in against a talented, motivated, well-rounded fighter in Mike Pyle and he made it look easy,” said UFC President Dana White said. “People are calling this kid the next GSP, including GSP. He is so awesome. That kid is so talented and so well-rounded.”

MacDonald’s reaction to the praise was subdued.

“It’s a nice compliment, but I’ve got a level head on my shoulders,” he said. “I’m just going to keep training, keep fighting, keep winning, and hopefully putting on good performances that everyone likes.”

There has been little to dislike so far. He controlled from start to finish in wins over Mike Guymon and Nate Diaz, as well as much of his lone loss, to top-t0 fighter Carlos Condit in June 2010. Condit appeared to be on his way to a decision loss until he gained top position late in the third round, mounted MacDonald and pounded his face bloody to force a stoppage with only seconds left in the fight.

Each of MacDonald’s UFC victories highlighted a different facet of his talent. He showed off smooth, quick submission skills in tapping out Guymon with an armbar. He tossed Diaz around like a child with suplexes en route to a decision win. He displayed vicious ground-and-pound instincts and solid positioning on the mat while putting a beating on Pyle.

Moving into the welterweight division’s elite remains a challenge in the near term for MacDonald, given the deep reservoir of talent in the division. But don’t be surprised to see him in the top five further down the road.

“I was very impressed with the way he performed tonight,” White said Saturday. “He fights like a well-seasoned vet and a well-rounded, talented mixed martial arts.”

UFC 133