UFC on FOX 8 Co-main Event: Ellenberger vs MacDonald
By Jon Lane, July 17th, 2013
Jake Ellenberger: I’m going to make Rory MacDonald “look stupid”
An eight-year MMA veteran, half of that spent in the UFC, Jake Ellenberger possesses an overall record of 29-6, 8-2 for Zuffa, and is a winner of eight of his last nine fights. The last time he was inside a UFC Octagon was in March. That’s when he needed a mere three minutes to brutalize Nate Marquardt, once a top contender in the welterweight division.
At 23 years old, Rory MacDonald is a baby in the MMA world, but he’s bulldozed through 14 of 15 opponents, including a one-sided mopping of the legendary B.J. Penn the last time he in the cage. Both are in the upper-echelon of fighters at 170 pounds. It’s where each are ranked that probably has Ellenberger, one of the great guys in the sport, unveiling a character that’s shades of Chael P. Sonnen.
The UFC fighter rankings have MacDonald (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) at No. 3, one spot ahead of Ellenberger. That’s put a chip on “The Juggernaut’s” shoulder going into UFC on Fox 8 next Saturday night at Seattle’s Key Arena. Referring to MacDonald as “McDummy” and an idiot, among other derogatory remarks, over Twitter wasn’t enough. Tuesday’s conference call to promote the event served as a forum for Ellenberger to unleash more than a few verbal jabs and uppercuts, not including the ones he intends to use to finish the fight before a national audience watching on free TV.
“I haven’t said anything that wasn’t true and my message to Rory is pretty clear: start tasting some flavors of baby food and find one you like and stock up because this isn’t a Tears for Fears lookalike contest,” Ellenberger said. “All I said is for him to prepare for some horizontal television time, and I meant it.”
It matters little to Ellenberger that MacDonald is in the mold of welterweight champion Georges St. Pierre — also his training partner at Montreal’s Tri-Star gym and whom MacDonald prefers not to fight even if UFC gold is on the line. MacDonald has defeated Penn and Nate Diaz, and was seven seconds from a win over Carlos Condit. Big deal, says Ellenberger. You haven’t faced anyone like the Juggernaut, a machine who has defeated Marquardt, Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields.
“I’m going out there to perform and to win,” Ellenberger said. “Rory doesn’t have a choice where this fight goes. This fight goes where I want it to go, and I’ve shown that in past fights. He has shown that he has potential, but he has not faced anybody like me. I’m stoked to get in there.
“I’m an evidence-based abuser. I didn’t make him make the stupid decision to fight me. I’m just going to make him look stupid when I destroy him.”
I’ve interviewed both fighters. Ellenberger is loquacious personality and a former Marine with a soft spot for his brother Joe, who has dealt with rare blood disease called Paroxysmal nocturnal hemoglobinuria. MacDonald is an unpretentious young man who will never light up the tabloids, but don’t be fooled by his soft-spoken nature. Since the heartbreaking loss to Condit, MacDonald has won four straight and could be in line for the next title shot if he’s willing to fight St. Pierre, should the champion upend challenger Johny Hendricks at UFC 167 in November.
During a recent interview, I tried getting MacDonald to bite. No dice. It’s simply not his nature and he revealed little else over the conference call.
“I don’t really care,” MacDonald said. “It doesn’t really bother me either way, I don’t really care about the disrespect or whatever. I just get in there and fight my fight. If they suffer, they suffer. I don’t really care if they’re nice or if they’re an a–hole.
“My whole career has been just kind of going with the flow. Everything kind of changes after every fight. I’ll see where I am after this fight and go from there.”
Ellenberger-MacDonald is the co-main event of a card headlined by Demetrious Johnson’s defense of the UFC flyweight title against John Moraga. The full lineup is below.
MAIN CARD (FOX, 8 p.m. ET)
Demetrious Johnson vs. John Moraga – for UFC flyweight title
Jake Ellenberger vs. Rory MacDonald
Robbie Lawler vs. Bobby Voelker
Jessica Andrade vs. Liz Carmouche
PRELIMINARY CARD (FX, 5 p.m. ET)
Michael Chiesa vs. Jorge Masvidal
Danny Castillo vs. Tim Means
Mac Danzig vs. Melvin Guillard
Yves Edwards vs. Spencer Fisher
Ed Herman vs. Trevor Smith
Germaine de Randamie vs. Julie Kedzie
PRELIMINARY CARD (Facebook, 4 p.m. ET)
Aaron Riley vs. Justin Salas
John Albert vs. Yaotzin Meza
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