Wins over former welterweight and lightweight champion B.J. Penn and rag-dolling Nate Diaz while collecting a 16-1 overall mixed martial arts (MMA) record doesn't make Rory MacDonald "special," according to Jake Ellenberger, who says the young Canadian doesn't deserve to be ranked in the top 10, much less the top five.
In fact, "The Juggernaut" feels the only reason "Ares" gets any "hype" at all is because he trains at the famed TriStar gym with current 170-pound kingpin Georges St. Pierre.
That, and the fact that Rory's lone loss came to the only top 10 welterweight fighter he's ever faced in Carlos Condit is why Ellenberger isn't "sold" on the 23-year-old ahead of their UFC on FOX 8 fight, which goes down on July 27, 2013.
His words to MMA Opinion:
"I'm not really sold on him. In my opinion the only top 10 guy in our division he's fought he's lost to, and that's Carlos Condit. I think he's definitely a young up and comer, but nothing special."
Thanks to sharing some mat time with "GSP," Rory gets a lot of unwarranted hype which is surprising to Jake:
"It's still surprising to me, for some reason some people in this industry think he's a top five guy, which I don't even think he's a top 10 guy. But, for some reason he has a lot of hype. It must be because he trains with GSP. And he trains at that, whatever, he trains at that gym. I think I have fought and defeated tougher opponents in my UFC career than Rory MacDonald. But I never had a choice in who I fight, you know. He's the name they gave me and I was all for it. Just let me know when and where."
According to Jake, he was told the winner of the bout would indeed get the next shot at the welterweight title, which could prove to be a tricky situation should MacDonald prove victorious in "The Emerald City" and "Rush" does the same if and when he meets Johny Hendricks.
Nevertheless, Ellenberger plans to not let that situation arise on his clock, saying he will find a way to defeat Rory and get his much-desired shot at the division strap and maybe surpass "Ares" in the division rankings, seeing as how he is currently #4 while MacDonald sit's at #3.
Anyone think "The Juggernaut" can keep his momentum going by besting Rory in Seattle? Or will MacDonald prove that all of the "hype" is justified with a victory of his own?