Jake Ellenberger: Rory MacDonald Made a “Stupid Decision” by Agreeing to Fight, Tells Welterweight “This Isn’t a Tears for Fears Lookalike Contest”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Although UFC on FOX 8 will feature a flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and John Moraga, much of the pre-fight spotlight has focused on Jake Ellenberger, thanks in no small part to some of the comments he’s made about his next opponent, Rory MacDonald. While early on, MacDonald responded to Ellenberger’s taunting on Twitter, more recently the 23 year-old has said he’s not bothered or distracted by the 28 year-old’s verbal tactics.
Due to each man’s abilities and top five ranking, of course, there’s no doubt the fight is a huge one, regardless of what gets said heading into the bout. If the comments have been designed to get MacDonald off his game, however, Ellenberger predictably isn’t about to admit it.
“I haven’t said anything that isn’t true,” Ellenberger (29-6) said on a recent media call, when asked what’s behind the comments he’s directed at MacDonald (14-1). “My message to Rory is pretty clear…this isn’t a Tears for Fears lookalike contest. All I’ve said to him is prepare for some horizontal television time and I meant it.”
During the call, UFC President Dana White relayed that the winner would move “close to a title shot”, as MacDonald and Ellenberger are currently ranked #3 and #4 in the division respectively.
“That’s obviously the goal at the end of the day,” Ellenberger noted about his title shot aspirations. “I’m going out there to perform and to win.”
Ellenberger has gone 8-2 in the Octagon, and alongside losses to Carlos Condit and Martin Kampmann, he’s scored notable wins over Jake Shields, Mike Pyle, Diego Sanchez and most recently Nate Marquardt.
MacDonald, however, has fought six times in the UFC and has gone 5-1 during that stretch. While he hasn’t faced as many established vets as Ellenberger, the rising star has defeated notable opponents like Pyle, Nate Diaz and the legendary BJ Penn.
“I’m an evidence based abuser,” said Ellenberger, when asked if his verbal jabs stem from the fact he believes MacDonald is not ready to fight him. “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.”
Although MacDonald has faced several well rounded and dangerous fighters since arriving in the UFC, the welterweight hasn’t fought someone with the wrestling pedigree of Ellenberger. That said, MacDonald does train out the famous Tri Star gym in Montreal, where he prepares alongside renowned wrestler Georges St. Pierre.
“Rory doesn’t have a choice where this fight goes,” said Ellenberger, who trains out of Reign MMA in Lake Forest, California. “This fight goes where I want it to go. I’ve shown that in past fights so I’m excited…he’s shown he has potential, but he has not faced anyone like me, so I’m stoked to get in there.”
The July 27th, UFC on FOX 8 will take place at Seattle’s Key Arena, and will feature flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson taking on challenger John Moraga in the main event. The main card will be available via pay-per-view.