It looked like a great fight on paper, but UFC On FOX 8’s co-main event between Rory MacDonald and Jake Ellenberger proved to be a big disappointment with MacDonald eventually claiming a unanimous decision victory after a cautious performance.
We’re underway in the co-main event of the evening. MacDonald lands a nice jab to begin the fight. He moves back to avoid a brief flurry from Ellenberger.
Cautious start from both men with 90 seconds gone and the crowd are a little restless. MacDonald flicking out the jab and then changes levels to throw a shot to the body.
Ellenberger notably more cautious than normal and three minutes in he’s not landed anything of note. MacDonald lands a jab and follows up with a head kick that’s blocked.
They clinch up for a brief moment and try to fire off strikes from close range before quickly breaking apart again. Ellenberger loads up with a couple of strikes, but doesn’t find the target.
Swift double jab from MacDonald then a kick again to follow. He seems comfortable working behind the jab at this point. They clinch up in the final 10 seconds, but neither man takes advantage and the round comes to a close.
Onto the second round and MacDonald’s back to working the jab, then throws a front kick to the face, but there’s not much of a connection. He’s keeping his range well and Ellenberger’s not quite able to find his range so far.
Another front kick flicks up from MacDonald, but it misses the target. Ellenberger tries to get his own jab working, but he’s not landing. Then he changes things up and looks for a takedown, but he can’t land it and they break apart.
Ellenberger tries to kick to the body and MacDonald briefly thinks about a takedown, but then abandons the attempt. Ellenberger barrels forward, but MacDonald moves out of his way.
Again he tries the same tactic, but MacDonald stays elusive. The crowd boo’s in disapproval as another relatively uneventful round comes to a close.
Five minutes to go and Ellenberger could use a big round here. He swings for the fences early, but is just swiping at fresh air. MacDonald still popping away with the jab and then tries a question-mark kick which doesn’t land.
He snaps off a nice body shot as Ellenberger moves forward with a flurry. Ellenberger lands a jab and then follows up shortly afterwards with a brief combination.
Nothing landing too hard, but at least he’s connecting now, and he fires off another couple of left hands. MacDonald looks for a kick, but slips to the mat. He gets up quickly though before it puts him in danger.
Boo’s ringing out around the arena. They exchange in close and Ellenberger swoops down and lands a takedown with less than a minute to go. MacDonald attempts to reverse, but Ellenberger pins him to the mat. Finally something positive for him, but he’s not able to do much from top control in the time remaining, and his opponent is just scrambling up when the fight comes to a close.
So, onto the judges scorecards we go and it’s MacDonald’s who’s done enough to get the win by unanimous decision (30-27 x2, 29-28).
Certainly an underwhelming performance at best then which is unfortunate for a fight airing live on FOX. MacDonald’s cautious approach was somewhat understandable given his opponent’s notoriously heavy hands, but it’s surprising that after all his pre-fight smack talk that Ellenberger didn’t ever really get going in this fight and blew his opportunity to step into the title picture.