The UFC on FOX 8 co-main event, Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger featured lively trash talk leading up to it, but in the opinion of many was underwhelming when it came time to actually fight.
UFC president Dana White was characteristically blunt.
"When you get these fights where guys talk s---, those fights always suck," said White of the bout. "I think that for Ellenberger to go out and say he doesn't deserve to be in the top-10 and then not go out and try to prove that he doesn't belong in the top-10...Ellenberger literally did nothing.
"And in my opinion, Rory didn't do anything to try and finish him and put a stamp on it and make a statement, not only to the world, but to the guys that are in the division."
"He went out and bulled B.J. because he knew he could. He didn't try to bully Ellenberger. Don't come in and say my fight was great and technical and I belong in the top-10 and all this s---, and don't go in there and try to perform. I don't think he performed. I don't think he did anything. He threw a few jabs and some front kicks.
"I don't think he moves down the ladder, but do you think anybody's screaming to see him fight again? Unfortunately, we live in a business where you're as good as your last fight. That kid's in a tough enough position as it is. He trains in Georges St-Pierre's hometown, where he trains, and everything is Georges St-Pierre this, Georges St-Pierre that, and the kid has to walk around and say he doesn't want to fight Georges St-Pierre when we all f---ing know he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre. But why would he go beating his chest saying he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre when that fight isn't even close to happening yet.
"But tonight was the night. Tonight was an important night that everybody was excited for, and yes, I understand that sometimes you know you're fighting somebody dangerous. F---ing Ellenberger just sat there f----ing two feet away from me and said, 'That wasn't me tonight, I wasn't myself.' So if you're Rory, and you're that f----ing good and talented, then you imposed your will on him and show the rest of the world, not only do I belong in the top-five, I should be fighting Georges St-Pierre."
"You don't want to put on a bunch of performances like that. It's not good for anybody. It's not good for him, it's not good for us, it's not good for the sport. Not good for FOX. Definitely not good for pay-per-view."
"Lorenzo texted me and said, 'This is terrible.' I texted him back and said, 'Ellenberger's freezing. He froze tonight. I don't know why, but he did. And when he froze, Rory did nothing."
MacDonald offered a defense, saying he took what was offered - which turned out to be a jab.
"I think I did exactly what I was supposed to do," said MacDonald. "I kept up my end, and he's a counter-puncher, and a very powerful puncher. I was waiting for my opportunities."
The bout was booed loudly during the second half, but 'Ares' said he wasn't paying attention.
As for the boos that showered the cage, the 24-year-old fighter said he wasn't paying attention.
"I was focused on the task at hand, and I was waiting for the knockout to come," said MacDonald. "I was being patient. I think I did the right thing. I wasn't rushing in like a fool or an amateur fighter. Sometimes, knockouts take a little bit of time. You've got to let it happen. I wasn't forcing anything. Unfortunately, I ran out of time."
Ellenberger however expressed nothing but regret.
"It just wasn't my night," he said. "I didn't pull the trigger. I really have nothing to add. I'll leave it at that.
"I respect the fact that so much strategy goes into a fight. Rory's been very respectful to me. But like I said, I'm just very disappointed in myself."
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