When Jake Ellenberger began taking shots at Rory MacDonald a while back, the latter was clearly annoyed and got drawn into a tweet war, but since then “Ares” has largely ignored Ellenberger’s trash talk. While “The Juggernaut” has made headlines with some of his jokes, the #4 ranked welterweight has also offered arguments as to why he believes the prospect may be overrated. Case in point, Ellenberger believes MacDonald hasn’t faced the level of competition that he has, and as a result, he disagrees with the 24 year-old being ranked #3. It’s an argument that some observers agree with, while others do not.
At an open workout Thursday to promote their UFC on FOX 8 bout Saturday, MacDonald had this to say about the enormous expectations that are tied to his career (quote via MMA Junkie.com).
“As far as what people say or think, I can’t control that. I’ve been winning my fights lately, and doing it in good fashion, so I think that’s why I’m here. We’ll see on Saturday night.”
And in terms of the argument that MacDonald’s rise up the rankings includes wins over smaller men like BJ Penn and Nate Diaz?
“They’re definitely smaller guys, but they chose to fight me at that weight, and my job is to fight who the UFC puts in front of me, so I really have no control over that,” MacDonald said. “I think they were good fights, and they are talented fighters, but they are smaller than me, so I have an advantage in size.”
When you consider Ellenberger’s stopping power and wrestling abilities, there’s little doubt that MacDonald hasn’t faced a fighter with a comparable make-up yet. If MacDonald wins, there shouldn’t be any remaining questions as to whether he’s truly a top welterweight at this stage of his career. Since he’s so young, however, a loss will only serve as a setback, rather than a definitive statement that his championship aspirations are far fetched.
UFC on FOX 8 will be hosted by Seattle’s Key Arena and the main event will feature a flyweight bout between Demetrious Johnson and John Moraga.
Stay tuned to MMA Frenzy.com for all your UFC news and coverage.