With tonight’s UFC on FOX 8 welterweight co-headliner between Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald being billed as a title eliminator, the UFC seemingly could have a problem on its hands since MacDonald and current UFC champion Georges St-Pierre are training partners.
UFC President Dana White, though, scoffs at that notion.
“I’m going to ask you a question,” White told “Inside MMA” reporter Ron Kruck on Friday. “[MacDonald] basically lives in Georges St-Pierre’s house, meaning he trains there in his training facility. He lives in Montreal, Canada. Georges St-Pierre says nothing but good things about this guy. What’s he going to do? Is he going to run out in front of the whole world and beat his chest and say, ‘I want Georges St-Pierre’s title, and I’m going to take it from him’ and all this stuff? No, he’s not.
“But if you don’t think he wants to fight Georges St-Pierre, if you don’t think he wants a shot at that 170-pound title, and if you don’t think he wants to be the world champion and make the kind of money that Georges St-Pierre makes, you’re crazy, my friend.”
White said it simply doesn’t make sense for MacDonald, who meets Ellenberger in tonight’s FOX-televised co-headliner at Seattle’s KeyArena, to even discuss the possibility right now. MacDonald (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) is currently ranked No. 6 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie.com MMA welterweight rankings, and he needs a win over No. 3 Ellenberger (29-6 MMA, 8-2 UFC) to solidify his case for a title shot. But White said that if he gets it, MacDonald could be singing a different tune some Sunday.
“When you get there, I guarantee you it will be a different conversation,” White said. “And I also guarantee you that in no way, shape or form does Georges St-Pierre think that Rory MacDonald doesn’t want to fight him.”
Of course, to get to the possibility of the teammate-vs.-teammate title fight, St-Pierre (24-2 MMA, 18-2 UFC) also needs to get by top contender Johny Hendricks (15-1 MMA, 10-1 UFC). Their bout headlines UFC 167 on Nov. 16.
For more on UFC on FOX 8 and UFC 167, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Georges St-Pierre)