Trainer: MacDonald’s ‘Ali shuffle’ a technique, not showboating
Rory MacDonald was dominant in his UFC on Fox 5 win over B.J. Penn, but he drew the ire of some fans for doing a shuffle in the cage that was apparently seen as a taunt.
“I can’t believe people perceived it that way,” Zahabi told the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show on Wednesday. “It makes no sense to me because the shuffle is a technique. It’s a way to draw your opponent’s attention. Rory did the technique three or four times, and he followed it up with a superman punch. It’s exactly what we drilled. He was trained to do that. He was not just doing it to showboat. He was doing it to execute a strike.”
Although MacDonald and Penn traded words before the bout, Zahabi insisted that his fighter respected the former lightweight and welterweight champion. In fact, Zahabi was worried MacDonald might even respect Penn too much.