The co-main event at UFC on FOX 8 between Jake Ellenberger and Rory MacDonald was one of the biggest fights of the year in the 170-pound division. The winner of this bout could likely be next in line for a welterweight shot and they would have the opportunity to strengthen their fan base by leaps and bounds by putting on a great performance on national television.
The bad blood led to a tense atmosphere as soon as the two men took their spots on the Bud Light logo to kick off the action.
MacDonald landed a stiff jab for the first strike of the night, while Ellenberger was loading up on his power punches and waiting for the opportunity to strike. There was little action in the first minute and a half as the two men were trying to get down the timing of their opponent and no significant shots were thrown.
Both welterweight contenders clearly respected their opponent’s skill sets throughout the entire opening frame before they cruised to the buzzer in a very closer round.
The action picked up a bit in the second round with Ellenberger looking for an early takedown. MacDonald was able to keep his balance and stay on his feet before the two men went back to the center of the octagon. MacDonald was the more precise and accurate fighter in the first ten minutes thanks to the success of his jab. Ellenberger was sitting back while MacDonald was landing the more successful shots and the potential title shot seemed to be slipping out of Ellenberger’s grasp.
Ellenberger came out in the final round looking for the knockout and winging some wild shots. Unfortunately for Ellenberger, MacDonald’s technique was the difference in the fight as he was clearly the more sound fighter throughout the bout.
MacDonald continued to keep the fight at the distance he wanted by utilizing his jab and keeping Ellenberger on the outside of his range.
With less than a minute to work, Ellenberger was able to land a takedown, but he was unable to do any serious damage. It was an interesting end to a very close fight, but the fight headed to the judge’s scorecards.
When the judge’s scorecards were read, MacDonald got the unanimous decision victory — 30-27, 29-28, 30-27.