MacDonald on MMA: The Athlete’s predictions

Alexander Gustafsson suffered a fluke cut, while Rory MacDonald has suffered training injuries fairly frequently recently.

I missed the blog last week, but I have to say there was a lot of uproar about Alexander Gustafsson, with fans questioning how he could have trained so hard that he got cut before the fight. I don’t know if people understand that people can get cut doing anything. You can get cut doing a drill at 30 per cent intensity. One guy moves the wrong way, or accidentally hits you. I’ve been cut by the seam of the glove when the edge of the leather catches you. It can happen so easily.

We are training for a sport that involves punching and kneeing, and those things happen. Nobody’s more distraught about that than Gustafsson. He was possibly one win from a title shot. Do you think he was taking unnecessary risks? I doubt it.

This week the UFC announced Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger. That fight does make sense to me. They’re both contenders, they’re both coming off wins. I would still love to eventually see the Rory-Condit fight, a bit of a grudge match, but in terms of determining a legitimate contender, this makes more sense.

It seems we only get to see Rory fight once a year anyway because of his never-ending list of injuries. He’s got to figure out a way at his young age to get his training figured out so he can actually make it to a fight. His coach Firas Zahabi has spoken openly about Rory over-training, and I’ve seen it myself.

And this is different from the Gustafsson situation, because it’s not like it’s a one-time thing that he’s gotten hurt. Gustafsson suffered a cut that was sketchy — he probably could have fought this weekend if he needed to. Rory had a much deeper cut and something that required surgery. It was not a little slip. He’s had a knee injury, a neck injury, many things that have sidelined him from fights.

Sadly, this week we had a worst-case scenario with the death of an Ontario-based fighter in an unsanctioned event in Michigan. It’s the same old story whenever there’s a death in MMA. They’re not dying as a result of things that happen in the fight. They’re dying of pre-existing conditions, ones that weren’t recognized in a pre-fight medical because they were competing in unsanctioned event where they didn’t have medicals in place. It’s not like they weren’t savagely beaten in the cage.

Like anything, even amateur fights should be heavily regulated. As a fighter, I’ve never ever had a problem providing medicals. Sometimes it’s a pain in the butt getting them done in Canada, but at the end of the day, they’re for our health and safety, and that’s a good thing. A bad thing is a guy with a brain condition allowed to fight in a bout where there isn’t even a doctor present. We have to crack down on that, even if it means getting police agencies involved.

Finally, this week seems to have been dominated with talk about Fallon Fox, which all started with Matt Mitrione. It’s not too often that I agree with Dana White, but I agree with him here. What does Mitrione have to gain by going on a rant about a transgendered fighter? He’s a pro athlete and he’s got to have a filter and understand there are some boundaries and that was one he didn’t really need to cross.

My opinion on that transgender subject is I don’t have an opinion on that subject. In general, you should not go on a rant on gay, lesbian or transgender people.

I don’t know if that will change things for Mitrione. He was a pretty popular guy in the organization, but I don’t disagree with the decision to suspend him. And I feel like they’re making a big statement that this stuff is not going to be tolerated.

I know other people have said similar things as Mitrione without reprimand. But it’s not quite the same. Ronda Rousey, for example, was just stating the facts, not formulating an opinion. Could she have done it a little more politically correct way? Sure. But her point is that she has altered your sexual organs in a way. That’s just facts, she’s not making a derogatory comment. It’s important that’s acknowledged.

As for Joe Rogan stating his thoughts on Fallon Fox, that’s who he is, that’s who they hired, and he was hired for precisely that reason. Is it a double standard? Yes, but isn’t life a double standard?

Now onto my picks for Saturday’s TUF 17 finale:

Urijah Faber vs. Scott Jorgensen

I have no idea how Faber continues to be in the main event of cards. It blows me away, it really does. I’ve got to go with Faber in this one. Jorgensen spent time training with him, so you’ve got to think they’re pretty familiar with one another. But Faber’s a better wrestler so he can control things in that realm.

Uriah Hall vs. Kelvin Gastelum

I haven’t watched The Ultimate Fighter this year, but I have read and watched clips of Hall, and he sounds to be pretty legit, one of the most talented guys coming out of TUF in a while. So it’s pretty hard to bet against him. I must say I was very entertained watching Rousey handle him in the video clip I watched. It certainly made me respect her abilities a little more. Hall’s a big guy, but she threw him around like a rag doll.

Miesha Tate vs. Cat Zingano

Does anyone really care about this? I really have a hard time getting into the women fighting. If Tate wins, we’re probably just going to see a redo. However, what little interest I do have will be if Tate is wins, we’ll she be able to learn from the previous fight, or is Rousey just as good as she is.

Travis Browne vs. Gabriel Gonzaga

I’m not sold on Browne. I just think Gonzaga is a more talented fighter. Browne has vicious power in his hands, but Gonzaga has been in with some of the best. I’m going with Gonzaga.

Bubba McDaniel vs. Gilbert Smith

Bubba fought once upon a time in the Pure Fighting Championship (my promotion in Red Deer), so I think it’s pretty cool that a fighter we had in our PFC show has graduated to the UFC. He beat Kyacey Uscola in the co-main event of our show. I like the guy, he’s talented I’ll go with him if anything for sentimental reasons.

I’ll pass on the rest of the televised undercard fights because they all involve TUF fighters and I didn’t watch, but I have one bonus pick:

Cole Miller vs. Bart Palaszewski

How does this fight get below all the other fights? That’s what it’s come to, that a bout between two veteran UFC fighters is relegated to the online prelims? These guys are two bad-asses. You have a bad-ass striker in Palaszewski, and a bad-ass ground guy in Miller. I’m going with Miller, he’s too savvy on the ground.

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