Despite the fact he just defeated one of the best welterweights in mixed martial arts, rising UFC star Rory MacDonald has received his fair share of criticism after a performance that left many fans booing and scratching their heads.
MacDonald, 24, improved to 15-1 after a unanimous decision win over Jake Ellenberger that drew the ire of UFC president Dana White for its perceived lack of action.
“I don’t think I should be blamed for something like that,” MacDonald told Sid Seixeiro on Sportsnet 590 The Fan Tuesday. “I fought a very good fight, for anyone that understands martial arts, and I think I was only a few seconds away from finishing him. I had his back right when the bell went and that’s a position I can be very devastating in.
“I ran out of time. I was well on my way to getting (the finish) but we’re limited to 15 minutes. So when you’re matched with one of the best fighters in the world … it takes a little bit more time to technically dismantle your opponent.”
The Quesnel, B.C., native explained that despite the fact he may not have gained as many new fans as he might have had he finished Ellenberger, he fought the way he always does and wasn’t his fault that his opponent wouldn’t engage him.
“Most of the third round he should have been taking more risks. I set him up the way I did so he could take more risks and I could capitalize on those risks and he didn’t do that and he was unwilling to do that because I think he knew I had his number,” said MacDonald, who is currently relaxing and visiting with family in British Columbia.
“I fought the way I always do. Unfortunately I had an opponent that was smart and wanted to avoid getting exposed.”
A preliminary bout between middleweights Ed Herman and Trevor Smith – a three round brawl that fans seemed to love, though some MMA purists criticized for a lack of technique displayed – came away with the Seattle event’s Fight of the Night award.
Though he didn’t refer to this bout or its participants specifically, MacDonald explained that he feels these types of fights “get old” and that a more technical performance should be appreciated by more fans.
“I think my performance gave a little bit of education to new people walking into the sport, maybe an appreciation for technique and skill rather than just two dough heads coming in swinging punches and one of them falls. I think that gets old.”
In terms of what’s next for MacDonald, the Tristar Gym product said there are many options for him at welterweight, but his teammate Georges St-Pierre is not one of those options.
The topic of MacDonald one day fighting his friend, who happens to be the UFC welterweight champion, seems to be a never-ending topic and he has dismissed the notion every time someone brings it up.
“There’s other options of going about this, don’t worry. I’m very confident that everything will work out for the best. I know what’s happening and I’m not too worried. Everything will work out just fine,” MacDonald said.
“There’s just other options that can happen without me and Georges fighting.”
MacDonald added that he still wants a rematch with Carlos Condit – the only man to defeat him – but also said that a matchup against Martin Kampmann, who fights Condit on Aug. 28, would pique his interest.