Rory MacDonald may be a great fighter with a bright future, but he isn't the next Georges St-Pierre, according to Jake Ellenberger.
Since MacDonald lopsided decision win over BJ Penn in December, the myriad of hype surrounding the 23-year-old phenom has taken on a life of its own. Fans are already anointing him as the future of the welterweight division. It also helps that St-Pierre is his personal mentor and training partner at Montreal's Tristar gym.
All in all, MacDonald has youth, world class skills and he is backed by arguably the greatest fighter in MMA history. Who could possibly thwart his inevitable path to greatness?
Ellenberger deeply believes that all of the hype is directed at the wrong person. He ultimately sees himself as a better fighter who has defeated tougher opposition.
At a press conference for UFC on FOX 8 (via MMAWeekly.com), Ellenberger didn't beat around the bush when it came to the constant MacDonald and St-Pierre comparisons:
"I would agree [that I've fought the tougher competition]. I've been in his position too. He's young, he's hungry. He fought Carlos Condit, the only guy in the top-10 I believe that he's fought, he lost to...They're claiming this kid to be the next GSP and dominating the division. Well, I disagree, I've been working my whole life to be in this position that I'm in now."
Ellenberger's current position is a rumored No. 1 contender's bout against MacDonald at UFC on FOX 8 in July.
While MacDonald has been hailed as St-Pierre's successor, Ellenberger has gone relatively unnoticed.
Despite being ranked as the No. 3 welterweight in the world, he still isn't receiving the same amount of recognition as others in the division.
This could be remedied if he knocks off MacDonald and earns a UFC title shot.
In MMA, a fighter is only as good as his last fight, and Ellenberger is one win away from proving that all the hype should have been directed towards him in the first place.