My thoughts on confusing & disappointing Ellenberger/MacDonald “Fight”

Posted: July 29, 2013 in Commentary/Opinion
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Jake EllenbergerGoing into UFC on Fox, I was most excited to watch the Jake Ellenberger vs. Rory MacDonald fight. In fact, if I was watching the event with someone brand new to MMA, I would have had no problem telling them, “watch this fight…these are two of the most exciting rising stars in the world.” Man, I would have been wrong.

I was hoping to see the birth of a new superstar. How could we not? One of these guys would shine slightly brighter than the other, somehow winning a fight of the year type bout. Not even close.

The feeling I had during—and of course after—that fight was a combination of disappointment and confusion. Ellenberger is well known as an aggressive guy willing to get dirty. He’s been a threat to knock out every opponent with one punch for his entire career. This time, the word “threat” doesn’t even come into play. He was no threat whatsoever.

Dana White agreed. He ripped Ellenberger’s performance pointing out (correctly I might add) that the Juggernaut “did nothing—literally nothing at all. He did not try to win, did not try to impose his will … he literally did nothing. His punch stats were close to zero.”

White sometimes greatly overreacts to situations that displease him. This is not one of those times. Ellenberger didn’t look like a contender. In fact, he didn’t look like he wanted to fight at all.

MacDonald doesn’t get a free pass here either. He looked slightly better than Ellenberger. He showed little aggression either. He used the same jab over and over. It bothered Ellenberger, sure. But it also made fans yawn. There was never a sense of urgency for either fighter. And the fact that Rory was winning handily barely gets him off the hook.

If there was ever a thing as a “bad win” in a big fight, this was it. I can guarantee that after this fight, we won’t have to worry about whether the UFC will force MacDonald’s hand by trying to get him to fight teammate GSP. He probably just ensured that he will NOT be next in line. I can’t think of another fight I was more looking forward to, and subsequently more disappointed about.

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