In the co-main event at UFC on Fox 8, two top Welterweight contenders meet. Rory MacDonald (14-1 MMA; 5-1 UFC) squares off with Jake Ellenberger (29-6 MMA; 8-2 UFC). This is the third of four main card fights on Fox. The official UFC rankings currently have MacDonald as the #3 contender at Welterweight with Ellenberger just one spot lower at #4. UFC on Fox 8 airs live from Seattle this Saturday, July 27, on Fox with the main card starting at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT.
As those close rankings indicate, this is a great, even match-up. Both men come into this fight on the backs of solid wins, and both are on the cusp of the division's highest levels. There's been a bit more trash talk between the two than you would have perhaps expected. Let's see how that translates into the cage Saturday night.
How do these two stack up?
MacDonald: 24 years old | 5'11" | 77" reach
Ellenberger: 28 years old | 5'10" | 73" reach
What have these two done recently?
How did these two get here?
Rory MacDonald has been picking up more and more hype with every performance. He's been hailed as a future champion for his past few fights, and after his last win - a dominant decision victory over former champion B.J. Penn - that talk only intensified. Two big things stand in MacDonald's way - his propensity for injury (he's spent a lot of time on the shelf in the past few years), and the fact that his teammate GSP stands atop the division. MacDonald clearly has huge potential, but now is the time to realize that potential.
Jake Ellenberger had a great run in 2010/2011 with big wins over Diego Sanchez and Jake Shields. He looked right on the verge of a title shot when he was stopped by Kampmann last summer. His comeback fight was a somewhat ho-hum win over Hieron, but his KO of Marquardt earlier this year reminded fans of his title hopes. Ellenberger is the underdog here, but like #1 contender Hendricks, he's the kind of Welterweight with fight stopping power. If he connects on MacDonald, he can end this quickly.
Why should you care?
Like I said, this is a razor close fight between two great talents. I honestly don't know how this plays out, and that is quite exciting to me.