A bout between top-shelf welterweights Rory MacDonald (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) and Jake Ellenberger (29-6 MMA, 8-2 UFC) should further shrink the ranks of title contenders.
Canada-based newspaper The Province today passed along word of the matchup, which is set for UFC on FOX 8 on July 27 at Seattle’s KeyArena, and UFC officials confirmed it.
Although the fight’s position on the summer card isn’t set, it’s expected to serve on the event’s FOX-televised main-card, which follows prelims on FX and Facebook.
MacDonald returns to action on the heels of a neck and back strain which forced his removal from this past month’s UFC 158 and scratched a rematch with Carlos Condit. According to several reports, the welterweight prospect re-injured himself, which pushed back his timetable for recovery. It appears, however, that not only has the Condit fight taken a back seat, but he’ll be fight to fight this summer.
MacDonald’s trainer, Firas Zahabi, told MMAjunkie.com (www.mmajunkie.com) he was trying to get his fighter to train smarter and not harder.
“He’s too aggressive,” Zahabi said. “I really try to hold the reigns. I tell him, ‘OK Rory, we’re going to do less today,’ and we always end up doing more. Emotions get in the way, and he wants to spar more.”
Still, whatever the 23-year-old is doing, it’s working. MacDonald has won his past four inside the octagon.
Ellenberger, meanwhile, is enjoying back-to-back wins. He was set to fight No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks at UFC 158 before MacDonald’s injury shuffled the card, and he was rebooked to fight Nate Marquardt. In a quick drubbing, he knocked out the ex-Strikeforce champ in three minutes and secured a “Knockout of the Night” bonus.
For the latest on UFC on FOX 8, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.
(Pictured: Jake Ellenberger)