Rory MacDonald, 22, will take on Mike Pyle, 35, at UFC 133: "Evans vs. Ortiz 2" on Aug. 6 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
I mention their respective ages because it's become the biggest point of contention in the lead-up to their main card fight on pay-per-view (PPV) at the Wells Fargo Center.
That's because Pyle has taken aim at his opponent's lack of experience, saying he's "not letting a kid who still gets ID'd stand in my way of getting a welterweight title shot."
As per usual, calling a young man out for being young has resulted in said young man explaining why he's not so young after all.
MacDonald, on his blog at Sportsnet.ca, explains that his age is not a factor due to the level of his training partners, who advance his rate of speed and development "10 times the rate of most normal fighters."
When we fight at UFC 133 on Aug. 6 in a couple of weeks, I'd like to think I can beat him and claim some of that experience from him. I'm also planning on showing him just what I've learned along the way. After all, when you're training with the guys I'm training with, your speed of development and experience works at 10 times the rate of most normal fighters.
Year-by-year my skill-set improves leaps and bounds, but since I arrived at the TriStar gym in Montreal last August my game has gone through the roof. The rate of improvement has just accelerated even further and I'm now gaining the kind of experience, in both the gym and in fights, that Pyle says I need to accumulate over time. I'm a far better fighter now than I was this time last year, as I'm mixing with a better class of fighter and coach and have also added numerous tools to my game.
The gym is now my full-time home and I have a second family there. When I first moved down here, Georges St-Pierre was one of the most helpful guys and was always looking to make the transition easier for me. I didn't have a car at the time, and Georges went out of his way to pick me up every day for training.
I went to all his training sessions with him and watched and studied the way he went about work. I'd then pick his brain on the journey to and from the gym. I followed him everywhere for a good few months and really got a priceless insight into how a great champion trains and lives.
You pick up so much experience from just talking to guys like Georges. He would talk to me about how he prepares, how he deals with nerves and everything else in between. No question went unanswered and it was a huge benefit for me.
It's difficult to argue with that kind of logic. Train with the best in the world and you will become the best in the world. Simple enough.
But Pyle is no scrub and he's been around the block enough times to know exactly what he's dealing with. Whether or not he has the tools to stop it is what's up for debate.
As for how MacDonald's glowing words of praise and apprenticeship under the tutelage of St. Pierre will affect his future at 170-pounds, here's what the rising contender had to say about a potential fight against the welterweight champion.
I'd never go out of my way to disrespect Georges or any of the guys at the TriStar gym. These guys are like to family to me now and Georges is as close as a brother. I would never ask for a title shot while he was still UFC champion. He has helped me out, taught me things and extended his trust to me. There's no way I could then turn around and demand a fight against him. I would never disrespect him like that.
If anything, I would move up in weight and fight for the middleweight or light-heavyweight belts instead. I'm not scared to move up in weight. By the time my career is over, I'd like to say that I'd competed at welterweight, middleweight, light-heavyweight and even heavyweight. I'd love to do something like that.
The bigger, the better...
Sounds just a little too familiar.
Of course, cream rises to the top and with the path "Ares" has taken to this point, it's not hard to imagine that he'll be forced to make a decision such as the one he described sooner rather than later.
What's your feeling on this one, Maniacs? Rather see him fight St. Pierre or move up a weight class ... or two ... or three?