MMA is a sport that is full of action. Yet, fans have such high expectations for the fights at times that they just can’t seem to grasp some of the more technical components of a fight, especially when it seems like there is a lack of action by one fighter or another. This was on full display in the Rory MacDonald vs. Jake Ellenberger fight, where MacDonald was able to implement a simple, yet effective game plan throughout the entire fight.
In each round, MacDonald was able to throw his jab out time and time again, and Ellengerber didn’t have an answer. This simple strategy displeased the Seattle fans, who began to boo within the second round. Sure, MacDonald didn’t go for broke, but what was the point when he was taking on one of the hardest punchers in the welterweight division? He was already winning the fight, and one slip could have resulted in a devastating loss.
Instead, Rory knew he was up each round and continued a successful strategy, jabbing Ellenberger over and over. Fans shouldn’t fault Rory for this. Ellenberger knew he was down and could have pressed the action more.
His corner failed to give him the correct technical advice, and it’s a shame because Ellenberger has all the talent in the world, possessing some of the scariest striking in the division. When Ellenberger did look to flurry and go for broke, he ended up getting a takedown, but it was too little, too late.
Sure, MMA is an exciting sport that is filled with quick and violent finishes, but it’s also fun to see sound, superior technical fighting, even if it’s as simple as a jab. Dana White criticized both fighters for their performances, but hopefully, MacDonald gets the respect he deserves as he beat a top welterweight in Ellenberger, who was ranked fourth in the world.