Despite the fact that they are already painfully close to each other in the UFC's official rankings, welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre and Rory MacDonald are making one thing very clear to anybody who asks—they are not fighting each other.
The two Canadian fighters have been training partners for the past few years under the watchful eye of coach Firas Zahabi at Tristar Gym in Montreal. Beyond that, St-Pierre and MacDonald have become close friends during that time as well.
It all adds up to friendship and teammates mean more than any one fight, so St-Pierre and MacDonald have declared adamantly that no matter what the circumstances are, they will not face each other in the Octagon.
"Rory and I are friends, I don't know what to say. I'm friends with Rory you know?" St-Pierre said when speaking during a UFC media tour stop in Las Vegas, via MMAWeekly.com. "We text, we call each other, we're friends."
UFC president Dana White has said on numerous occasions that he believes if push came to shove, if presented with the chance to compete for the UFC welterweight title, MacDonald would accept the fight with St-Pierre.
Outside of speaking in different languages, MacDonald couldn't be much more transparent that White is wrong, and he won't take the fight no matter what's dangled in front of him as a prize.
"I won't fight Georges," MacDonald said when speaking to Fox Sports after his win at UFC on Fox 8. "We're teammates and friends. I've been asked that many times. We'll come to an alternative idea when we get to that point."
A similar situation came up a few years ago when former UFC champion Rashad Evans saw a rising young light heavyweight named Jon Jones join his team. In every interview, both Evans and Jones said repeatedly that they would not fight each other, but eventually there was a crack in the solidarity between the two competitors. That's all it took to create one of the most heated rivalries in UFC history.
When the "what if Rory MacDonald changes his mind and says he'll fight you?" question comes up to St-Pierre, however, he chalks it up to a media trick trying to create controversy where there is none.
"This is that hypothetical world, the reporters you guys want a story to make a conflict happening between me and Rory. It's not going to happen. Rory and I are tight, we're friends," St-Pierre said. "There's many ways of doing this.
"Maybe I might go up, maybe he might go up, there's many other options. I have plans for my career. I cannot tell you everything, guys. There are other things. I don't want to fight Rory."
Right now, the matchup is exactly as St-Pierre stated—hypothetical.
MacDonald is just off his win over Jake Ellenberger, but with a history of injuries that have forced him out of several fights, the young Canadian has to want to fight again soon if his body is in good shape.
St-Pierre has his hands full in November when he takes on No. 1 contender Johny Hendricks in the main event of UFC 167. If St-Pierre loses that fight, then he certainly doesn't have to worry about his teammate because he won't have the belt anymore.
Whether St-Pierre and MacDonald want to address it or not, the subject will continue to come up so long as one of them is holding the belt and the other is climbing up toward the top of the ranks as a potential contender.
The conversation will be put on hold for now or at least until St-Pierre wins his next fight, then it will certainly be revisited.
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report
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