Over the past few months preceding the UFC on FOX 8 fight between welterweights Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger the audience was led to believe an all-out battle was about to unfold inside the Octagon. Ellenberger talked trash on numerous occasions, MacDonald promised to make a statement in the scrap, and both were pegged as future title-contenders. However, what took place was little more than a forgettable co-headliner sucking the energy out of the arena.
The duel drew plenty of criticism from fans and, as it turns out, UFC President Dana White as well.
“It was terrible fight. I think if you go out there and if you want to prove you’re one of the best, and your opponent tells you you’re not in the Top 10 in the world, and then you don’t do anything to prove him wrong, it shows,” said an angry White to Fuel TV after the event. “Robbie Lawler went out and made an impression. I thought Jake Ellenberger did nothing at all. He tried to do nothing, and so Rory stood on the outside and did just enough to win, but he didn’t try to impose his will on Ellenberger or go for the finish or submit him.”
Lawler landed a beautiful head-kick to knock out opponent Bobby Voelker in a main card match-up.
White did not elaborate on whether MacDonald’s status as a contender would be affected by his approach to Ellenberger. On paper “Ares” is certainly a deserving challenger, owning a 15-1 record including wins in his last five fights.
Front-Page Photo Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Spor