No one ever doubted Rory MacDonald’s skills and ability before, but he had a somewhat tough time getting to the point where he was no longer a crazy-looking “Silence of the Lambs” dude and more of a hero of the Octagon.

Now, thanks to his gutsy performance at UFC 189 on Saturday night, he seems to have transformed into that hero.

Make no mistake about it: although he came up short against champ Robbie Lawler, crumbling after one jab too many finally crushed his nose, there were moments in the fight when he was on the cusp of victory. But the outcome of the fight notwithstanding, what matters is the battle, the effort put forth in the cage and – sadly – the great toll it took on both men, and because MacDonald was an absolute wreck of a human being at the end, and the next day tweeted this…

…well, crap, how could you not like this guy? He gave all for us, and he promises to be back to give it all over again.

I may have joked about MacDonald being a serial killer in the past, but dammit, this dude deserves our respect.