Perhaps the most highly anticipated match at last nights UFC on FOX 8 event was the welterweight clash that UFC President Dana White labelled a title qualifier between Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald. MacDonald, a 2-1 favorite at the sport books, did enough to win as he took a defensive pose against Ellenberger. His offense amounted to a jab and little else, as MacDonald elected to take no risks at all as he stalemated and frustrated Ellenberger. Nevertheless, he sits atop the weight class and he awaits Georges St Pierre’s next title defense against Johny Hendricks in November to see who he might face for the title. Though he is number one contender now, the path to a title shot is not all that clear for MacDonald.
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Should Hendricks beat St Pierre, and his chances are just as good as Chris Weidman‘s were against Anderson Silva, then St Pierre would get an immediate rematch if he should want it. This would force MacDonald into at least one more fight before a title match, as he is coming off a long layoff and risks stunting his progress with another wait.
The logical match to make in that case would be to have him face the winner of Martin Kampmann and Carlos Condit, which likely sets up a Condit rematch and gives MacDonald a chance to avenge the lone defeat on his record.
Now if St Pierre wins against Hendricks, it sets up the scenario of MacDonald potentially facing a friend and mentor in St Pierre. UFC President Dana White stated that the fight could happen, that MacDonald is just saying the right things but his desire for the title means he will not say ‘no’ to facing his friend.
Despite Dana’s assurances, that match is not all that appealing, in that it has too much potential for either or both men to be holding back just a bit.
The truth is, the St Pierre-Hendricks match is in November, and MacDonald could conceivably be ready to fight again in November, and with his youth and inexperience, he should be looking to pile up the octagon time, not settle down and fighting 2x a year. There is talk of a Nick Diaz comeback as well, now Diaz and MacDonald, that would be a must watch.