UFC welterweight contender Jake Ellenberger isn't thrilled to be fighting Rory MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8 in July, with the reason being that he doesn't believe "Ares" is everything he's cracked up to be.
Speaking with MMA Digest, "The Juggernaut" went off on his upcoming opponent, saying Macdonald doesn't truly deserve a top-10 ranking and his hype comes from training alongside long-time divisional champ Georges St-Pierre.
"I'm not really sold on him. In my opinion the only top 10 guy in our division he's fought he's lost to, and that's Carlos Condit. I think he's definitely a young up and comer, but nothing special ... It's still surprising to me, for some reason some people in this industry think he's a top five guy, which I don't even think he's a top 10 guy. But, for some reason he has a lot of hype. It must be because he trains with GSP. And he trains at that, whatever, he trains at that gym. I think I have fought and defeated tougher opponents in my UFC career than Rory MacDonald."
Strong words from the heavy-handed wrestler, who has won eight of his past nine fights, with the sole setback being a stunning knockout loss against Martin Kampmann in June.
Most recently, Ellenberger earned his second "Knockout of the Night" bonus against Nate Marquardt at UFC 158 in March.
Other quality wins on his resume include rising lightweight prospect Pat Healy, Mike Pyle, Jake Shields and Diego Sanchez.
MacDonald certainly hasn't lacked tough opponents in his 15 professional fights, scoring wins over Jordan Mein, Nate Diaz, Pyle and former two-divisional UFC champ BJ Penn.
Aside from Pyle, Carlos Condit is the only other common opponent between the two.
Ellenberger suffered a close split decision loss to "The Natural Born Killer" in September 2009, while MacDonald lost via a late third round TKO in June 2010 after controlling the first two rounds.
According to the UFC's official rankings, MacDonald is the No. 3 welterweight in the world, with Ellenberger being pegged as No. 4.
Do Ellenberger's comments hold any water or is this just the latest example of a fighter trying to hype an upcoming bout?
Like the new article format? Send us feedback!