It's rare in MMA to find two exceptionally well-rounded fighters with similar styles competing in the same division.
It's even more rare to find these two warriors training in the same gym together— and as friendly teammates! But for Canadian UFC welterweights Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald, that just happens to be the case.
Training together at the famed TriStar Gym in Montreal, Canada, St-Pierre and MacDonald have somehow avoided the pitfalls that other teammates have fallen pray to in the past. However, this relationship may not be ideal for the 23-year-old "Ares."
St-Pierre, the elder wonder boy of the TriStar team, has ruled as king over the 170 lb. weight class for years. Every challenger the UFC has thrown at him, from Jake Shields to BJ Penn, has been dominated by the man they call "Rush."
With each fallen foe, the pool of challengers for the champ shrinks, which will inevitably mean a clash between MacDonald and St-Pierre if they both remain in the same division.
This is a dangerous situation for both fighters, as history has told us that it is almost impossible to maintain a friendship if you're fighting each other as teammates. The most obvious example that comes to my mind is the drama caused by Greg Jackson teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, when they both were locked on taking the light-heavyweight crown.
As we all know, Jones came out on top in this situation and their friendship completely disintegrated.
In St-Pierre and MacDonald's case, they have avoided this drama thus far. Both have publicly stated their disinterest in facing each other and St-Pierre has even taken on the role of mentor for "Ares," even cornering him in his last fight.
However, MacDonald is on a meteoric rise and is quickly emerging as a title contender in the UFC's welterweight division. If he beats Penn later this year, it will solidify his status as a dangerous, upper echelon 170er.
In order to avoid a run in with the champ, MacDonald has two options: wait for St-Pierre to leave the crown or fight him.
Since option two is highly unlikely, MacDonald will have to bite the bullet and let the dwindling challengers pool continue to take on the champ. His wait might not last too long, however, as a possible match-up between St-Pierre and UFC Middlweight champ Anderson Silva might mean the departure of the Canadian champion from the welterweight division.
There's also the off chance that St-Pierre loses the title all-together, but fat chance on that happening.
For now, MacDonald has to wait in the background and learn as much as he can from his superstar teammate.
There will be a day when MacDonald wears that welterweight crown, he just has to be patient.