Rory MacDonald has become one of the biggest heels in MMA today with his attitude, style and general ways outside the Octagon. That is why he has become a target of fighters looking to push their way up the ladder.
Jake Ellenberger was one of those men.
In the buildup to UFC on Fox 8 and the co-main event between MacDonald and Ellenberger, there were some humorous back-and-forths between the two. That said, most of the banter and trash talk came from Ellenberger.
With the kind of hype that was being made for this fight by Dana White and the fighters themselves, coupled with a power-punching style of Ellenberger and the technical prowess of MacDonald, fans expected to see a Fight of the Night contender.
It couldn't have been any more the opposite.
First off, Ellenberger, who did most of the talking, didn't back it up. For a majority of the fight, he did little to nothing to do damage or score points on MacDonald.
Further than that, the MacDonald we saw dismantle BJ Penn and tear up the welterweight division prior to this fight did not show up. MacDonald sat behind his jab and looked like he really didn't want to be in the Octagon.
A lot of times when the fans boo, it isn't warranted. Fans can be shallow and impatient; so, often, you have to take their disapproval lightly. This time, the fans were absolutely right. The hyped-up main event built on trash talk, top-10 fighters and an interesting stylistic matchup left fans disappointed and disgusted by the lackluster bout.
If you watched the press conference, Dana White was not happy, either. He panned the fight just as badly as the general fight community.
So, obviously, no, the fight did not live up to the hype. A co-main event is an appetizer for the main attraction, and neither man produced a compelling effort. Maybe next time there is entertaining trash talk leading up to the bout, the fight will be just as good or better than the banter.