Despite all the perceived bad blood between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger, and the trash talk coming from the latter of the two welterweight contenders, things were relatively calm at the UFC on Sportsnet: Johnson vs. Moraga weigh-ins Friday.
No words were exchanged and the two didn’t need to be separated, however, they would not shake hands after they came in on weight for their highly anticipated co-main event bout.
Ellenberger, 28, has been relentless in his verbal attacks on the rising Canadian star — though some would simply call the chirps Ellenberger being brutally honest.
MacDonald, 24, is currently ranked as the UFC’s No. 3 contender at 170 pounds and Ellenberger, ranked No. 4, has repeatedly said he thinks that’s crazy and that MacDonald is overrated.
But the stone-faced MacDonald has downplayed Ellenberger’s insults and has not returned many verbal jabs of his own.
“It’s not personal to me. It’s just another day at work for me,” MacDonald told the UFC’s post-weigh-ins show on FUEL TV.
“I thought he could have been better (at insulting me).”
Many believe the winner of this matchup could be in line for a title shot and potentially face the winner of UFC 167’s Georges St-Pierre vs. Johny Hendricks.
MacDonald has said repeatedly that he doesn’t want to fight GSP, whom he trains with in Montreal and is friends with.
UFC president Dana White said, “I don’t want to keep going against what the kid says,” but added that he believes that MacDonald does in fact want a shot at GSP’s title though he won’t say it publicly.
Watch over five hours of UFC on Sportsnet: Johnson vs. Moraga live on Sportsnet 360 starting at 5pm ET / 2pm PT Saturday, July 27, plus two early prelims on sportsnet.ca starting at 4pm ET / 1pm PT
Despite the fact the co-headliner has garnered more attention leading up to the second UFC event at Seattle’s KeyArena in the last nine months, the card will culminate with a flyweight title fight between Demetrious Johnson and John Moraga.
The defending champ Johnson, who became a first-time father last week, weighed in at 124.5 pounds, as did Moraga.
Johnson (17-2-1) has headlined three televised UFC events and was in the co-main event at UFC 152, which aired on pay-per-view, while Moraga has not had much exposure in the UFC — going 2-0 during online prelim appearances in his first two fights with the organization.
Some feel Moraga (13-1) could face nerves, as it’s the first time he will fight on a UFC main card, let alone in a main event on network television, but Moraga ensured his relative inexperience on the big stage compared to Johnson isn’t nerve-wracking considering what he’s gone through in his life.
“Well, he’s never walked down my block,” said Moraga, who grew up in a rough neighbourhood in Phoenix.
Also on the main card, Jessica Andrade and Liz Carmouche will make UFC history, becoming the first openly gay fighters to compete against one another in the UFC when they meet in their women’s bantamweight tilt.
Plus, welterweights Robbie Lawler and Bobby Voelker face off in a battle of exciting Strikeforce veterans.
While all eight fighters on the main card made weight on their first attempt, several fighters on the preliminary card missed weight.
Tim Means came in overweight at 160 pounds for his lightweight bout against WEC veteran Danny Castillo; Jorge Masvidal weighed 157.5 for his lightweight tilt with TUF Live winner Michael Chiesa; John Albert came in at 137 pounds, one pound over the allowed limit for non-title bantamweight bouts, while his opponent Yaotzin Meza was on weight at 136 pounds.
Means, Masvidal and Albert had two additional hours to make weight or they would risk forfeiting a percentage of their purse.
All other fighters, including notable veterans Mac Danzig, Melvin Guillard, Yves Edwards and Ed Herman made weight on their first attempts.
Kicking off the prelims on Sportsnet 360 is a women’s bantamweight bout between Julie Kedzie and Germaine de Randamie, who both came in on weight.
Kedzie has more pro fights than any other woman currently on the UFC roster — she is 16-11 in 27 fights, while de Randamie is just 3-2 in her pro MMA career.
This event will mark the first time in UFC history that multiple women’s bouts will take place on the same card.
Here are the complete weigh-ins results:
MAIN CARD (Sportsnet 360 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT)
— Demetrious Johnson (124.5) vs. John Moraga (124.5)
— Jake Ellenberger (171) vs. Rory MacDonald (170.5)
— Robbie Lawler (170.5) vs. Bobby Voelker (170)
— Jessica Andrade (134) vs. Liz Carmouche (136)
PRELIMINARY CARD (Sportsnet 360 at 5pm ET / 2pm PT)
— Michael Chiesa (155.5) vs. Jorge Masvidal (155)*
— Danny Castillo (155) vs. Tim Means (160)*
— Mac Danzig (155) vs. Melvin Guillard (155)
— Daron Cruickshank (156) vs. Yves Edwards (155)
— Ed Herman (186) vs. Trevor Smith (185)
— Germaine de Randamie (135) vs. Julie Kedzie (135.5)
PRELIMINARY CARD (sportsnet.ca 360 at 4pm ET / 1pm PT)
— Aaron Riley (156) vs. Justin Salas (155)
— John Albert (137)* vs. Yaotzin Meza (136)
*UPDATE: Masvidal made weight on his second attempt after initially weighing in at 157.5 pounds and will not be penalized. Means and Albert were unable to make weight and will forfeit part of their purse to their opponents.