There are several compelling bouts scheduled for tomorrow night’s UFC on FOX 8 card in Seattle, but thanks to the verbal siege Jake Ellenberger has launched at Rory MacDonald, their fight is likely at the top of most people’s ‘must see’ lists. Sure, it doesn’t hurt that both men are right at the top of the welterweight rankings, but Ellenberger’s ‘observations’ has certainly added buzz to the fight.
Retired fighter and UFC commentator Brian Stann recently spoke with MMA Frenzy.com, and he also noted that Ellenberger-MacDonald has the potential to be something special. The decorated Marine relayed:
“Jake and Rory is probably the one that is most exciting outside of the main event. You’re seeing a paradigm shift in mixed martial arts in recent years because of what Chael Sonnen’s done and Jake is a pupil of Sonnen. I don’t know if people have realized that with it being behind-the-scenes, but he is. Fighters are starting to realize that they have to make their fight matter. Boxers have done this for years where they go out and promote to sell their fight and Ellenberger has basically done that. He’s fighting a guy he truly does not like, and he has told him ‘I want to fight you’ and he’s been rewarded with Rory wanting to fight him with major title implications between two guys who are really really good. Have to remember, there aren’t a lot of guys calling out Rory MacDonald out right now.”
It’s an interesting point, and there’s no doubt some of Ellenberger’s comments have had a Sonnen like tone to them. Stann was also asked about the Robbie Lawler-Bobby Voelker match-up, which has the makings of a thrilling and violent tilt.
“[As for Lawler-Voelker] If you’re a longtime fan you have known about Robbie Lawler for a long time but Robbie is one of those guys that has all of a sudden hit a resurgence in his career by knocking out [Josh] Koscheck. I mean that was a huge win for him and just a few years ago he wasn’t training very very detailed and let himself go, and he looked like he was in the twilight of his career. That happens in MMA, you know there’s just these things that revitalize you. Something happened with Robbie, whether it was in his training or personal life, something really lit that fire again. I mean this is a guy I grew up watching in MMA, before I ever through a punch, I loved watching Lawler’s fights. He’s a good all-round fighter but he’s got real power, that end the fight at any moment power, and if wins impressively on FOX he could get the winner of the Ellenberger-MacDonald fight and who wouldn’t pay to see that?”
No arguments here (although the winner of Ellenberger-MacDonald might have a title shot in mind, depending on how things shake out in the coming months). It could be a fantastic evening of fights.
UFC on FOX 8 will be hosted by Seattle’s Key Arena and will feature flyweight champion Demetrious Johnson taking on John Moraga in the main event.