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.

“That was a big concern that [MacDonald] would be a deer stuck in the headlights because you’re fighting a guy who’s got such an aura about him,” Zahabi said. “It happened to Georges [St. Pierre] the first time he fought Matt Hughes. Rory knew not to fall for that, just to fight him like he’s anybody else and not to show too much respect in terms of fighting, but we made sure to show him all the respect in the world in terms of a fighter who paved the way. He paved the way for many great fighters.”

Penn showed his heart in going the 15-minute distance, but MacDonald was in control throughout before capturing a unanimous decision. On the feet, he battered the Hawaiian with elbows and vicious body shots.

“I really think you have to take away the boxing from B.J.,” Zahabi said. “If you don’t take away his boxing, you’re dead. You’re dead in the water because taking him down and holding him down is not an easy thing to do. Rory has different tools than Georges St. Pierre. We had to use a different strategy for him, and definitely the elbows, I really feel, is what turned the tide.”

Now MacDonald appears headed for a rematch against Carlos Condit in March at UFC 158. Condit won the first encounter in June 2010, but he had to rally to get the win. Zahabi expects the matchup to be one of the best fights of 2013.

“For sure [Condit is] going to bring new things to the table, but the time is a little short for that,” Zahabi said. “I think he’s going to have to do what he’s good at doing now. The backbone of his game is going to have to be the same, I think, and I think Rory’s going to be extremely ready for that.”

Listen to the full interview (beginning at 1:34:40).

view original article >>
Report here if this news is invalid.

Related News

Firas Zahabi: Rory MacDonald underestimated Robbie Lawler before; this time he won't (Heavy Hands interview)

  • 5 days ago
  • 1 views

Connor Ruebusch and Patrick Wyman interview head of Tristar Gym Firas Zahabi, whose star fighter Rory MacDonald rematches Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title July 11th. read news >>

Carlos Condit Predicts Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald UFC 189 Winner Will Be…

  • 19 days ago
  • 242 views

Fourth-ranked welterweight Carlos Condit predicts the winner of the UFC 189 welterweight title bout between Robbie Lawler and Rory MacDonald will be... read news >>

Fan Perspective: Is Fabricio Werdum the heavyweight GOAT?

  • 20 days ago
  • 7 views

With Fabricio Werdum’s shockingly dominant title win over Cain Velasquez at UFC 188, a new question had to be asked of MMA fans: Is Werdum the best heavyweight in MMA history?Filed under: Featured Vi read news >>

Dana White: Kelvin Gastelum 'has done nothing to prove he can make 170 pounds'

  • 22 days ago
  • 15 views

Kelvin Gastelum looked dominant in his win over Nate Marquardt at UFC 188 on Saturday night, but the future for The Ultimate Fighter winner is a bit uncertain. Sure, he's got a future in the UFC, but read news >>

UFC 189: Judges, referees selected for Jose Aldo vs. Conor McGregor, Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald

  • 25 days ago
  • 20 views

Same familiar faces will be on hand next month when the Irish and Brazilian takeover invades Las Vegas. Veteran referees Herb Dean and John McCarthy were selected Thursday at a meeting of the Nevada read news >>

Johny Hendricks headed to UFC 189, will face winner of Robbie Lawler vs. Rory MacDonald

  • 25 days ago
  • 17 views

Time to gas up the Bat-Truck, because the beard coming to "Sin City." Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Johny Hendricks will be in attendance at the upcoming UFC 189: read news >>

Myles Jury Out, Paul Felder in Against Edson Barboza at UFC on Fox 16 in Chicago

  • 27 days ago
  • 0 views

UFC lightweight Myles "Fury" Jury has suffered an undisclosed injury, forcing him out of his scheduled clash with Edson Barboza at UFC on Fox 16 in Chicago. Stepping up in Jury's place at the July 25 read news >>

Myles Jury Injured, Edson Barboza Draws New UFC on FOX 16 Opponent

  • 27 days ago
  • 12 views

The UFC on FOX 16 bout between former lightweight champion Anthony Pettis and Myles Jury is officially no more. read news >>

Myles Jury out, Paul Felder in to face Edson Barboza at UFC on FOX 16

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

A lightweight fight between Anthony Pettis and Myles Jury has now turned into Paul Felder vs. Edson Barboza at this July's UFC on Fox card in Chicago. When UFC on FOX 16 was initially announced, one read news >>

Myles Jury out, Paul Felder in against Edson Barboza at UFC on FOX 16

  • 27 days ago
  • 1 views

The lightweight carousel continues to churn for UFC on FOX 16, and Myles Jury is its latest casualty. The UFC announced Tuesday that Jury has pulled out of the July 25 event due to injury. Undefeated read news >>