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In this paper we propose and examine 802.11b-based MAC protocol for wireless ad-hoc relay networks. The objective of the proposed protocol is to incorporate self-enforcing strategy to achieve energy efficiency in function of joules required for providing data transmission between end users. Regarding energy requirements for transmitting and receiving frames, it is desirable for every node in a wireless system, to get access to the channel as fast as possible and occupy it for a reasonably short period. The protocol design addresses the relay's self-selection mechanism which is based on internal motivation. The motivation refers to willingness of candidate relay to aid the ongoing transmission with regard to possibility of being awarded faster access to wireless medium, yielding decrease in energy consumption spent in waiting mode. The paper reports major improvements in terms of energy efficiency for most of the presented scenarios, while using relaying protocol in contrast to non-relaying 802.11b.