To many people, including the media, Rory MacDonald is the future of the Welterweight Division that is currently being strangled by his friend and longtime training partner Georges St-Pierre.
This is obviously the toughest test in Rory’s career in my mind, and here are three ways the seemingly untouchable MacDonald can lose to Ellenberger:
He gets knocked the hell out
This is seemingly the biggest threat to Rory. “The Juggernaut” has massive amounts of power as we all saw in his annihilation of Nate Marquardt. Ellenberger obviously has the power advantage, and in my opinion has a slight edge in the boxing department. Rory’s best chance striking will be to mix it up with kicks and some good Muay-Thai, but I think he will be hesitant to do so with Ellenberger’s phenomenal wrestling and takedowns.
He gets out-wrestled
So like I said above, Rory is going to want to keep Ellenberger on his toes by mixing his striking up, especially with kicks. The biggest problem here is that throwing kicks is going to leave MacDonald open to being taken down and ground and pounded.
MacDonald has some great wrestling of his own, but being able to take down Che Mills is not even comparable to Ellenberger’s wrestling. Ellenberger wrestled his college career at the University of Nebraska and even went back and was an assistant coach when they won back to back national titles.
He gets muscled into a submission
I know Rory is a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, but we need to remember that Ellenberger is a purple belt as well. We haven’t seen much in the way of submissions in the UFC from either man. MacDonald picked up an arm bar over Mike Guymon in his first ever UFC fight; other than that his BJJ skills have mostly been defensive.
Though Ellenberger hasn’t won by technical submission since 2006, I believe he has the strength and the skill to muscle MacDonald into a choke, most likely from the top position. Ellenberger’s wrestling skills really combine well when utilizing his Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu to lock in arm triangle chokes or even D’arce chokes.
The more you break down this fight, the tougher it begins to look for MacDonald. I’m not coming out with a pick for this match yet, but too many members of the media and fans write off Ellenberger purely because Rory trains with Georges St-Pierre. If you break it down into each area the only advantages Rory has is technical striking, and possibly ground and pound; but that is up in the air in my opinion.
So who do you think is going to win the fight? Are there any more glaring areas that Rory is deficient in? Leave your comments below and voice your opinions. Don’t forget to “like” and “share” this page!