Jake Ellenberger had plenty to say about Rory MacDonald before they met at UFC on FOX 8. He said his current ranking was ridiculous, that he was "fake," that he was nothing special, and the list went on and on.
When fight time came though, Ellenberger's fists largely went silent. The fight lacked the fireworks that seemed to be implied by their pre-fight antagonism. Instead, it was largely MacDonald jabbing his way to a unanimous decision win, taking a 30-27, 29-28, 30-27 win in front of the crowd at Seattle's Key Arena.
Ellenberger simply couldn't reach his target. Faced with a reach disadvantage of nearly four inches, his big windup for his power right gave MacDonald time to get his jab off first, and he did so repeatedly. It was a constant and steady stream of the same from the Canadian fighter, who won his fifth straight in the octagon.
To his credit, MacDonald didn't let the emotional fire of the matchup get him out of his plan. He smartly avoided any firefight with the heavy-fisted American, and largely fought him on the outside. According to FightMetric, MacDonald out-landed Ellenberger 48-27.
Ellenberger was slow to make any adjustments, finally scoring a takedown in the last minute of the fight, but by that point, it was too late. MacDonald was easily ahead on the scorecards, and Ellenberger would need a finish. He didn't come close to one.
Even in victory, it was probably not the kind of win that will leave people clamoring to push the idea of MacDonald in a title fight. His overall resume is strong enough, and beating the respected Ellenberger is a feather in the cap, but it was not the showcase that many expected.
MacDonald is now 15-1 while Ellenberger fell to 29-7.