“I don’t want to keep going against what the kid says publicly, but anybody who really believes and I’m not going to say what he and I talk about privately, but do you really believe that this kid doesn’t want a shot at the title? Of course, he does. Where he trains and where he lives, he’s in GSP’s house, okay. He’s not going to beat his chest and talk about, that he wants a shot at GSP and GSP would be insane to think that Rory wouldn’t want a shot at him. Ya know, the kid is not here working his way up the ladder to get there and not get a shot at the title, it’s ridiculous, but he’s not going to beat his chest and scream, ya know, from the roof-tops when he’s living in GSP’s house and I mean training in his gym, living in Montreal and the list goes on and on.”
Those are the words of UFC President Dana White to “FOX Sports” and his thoughts on Rory MacDonald fighting team-mate, good friend and welterweight champion, Georges St. Pierre.
For a couple of years now, a fight between the two has been a topic of conversation and in answering questions on the matter, both fighters have repeatedly stated that they will not fight one another. To further the point, both have just recently and again, affirmed their assertations.
However and of course, the question hasn’t gone away and has only become more pronounced with the continued success of both fighters and should the pair win their next respective bouts, one can only assume, at least to Dana White, that the question will no longer be asked, but rather, will be banging on the door and loudly.
White and for good reason, is being like a dog with a bone on this question. If the two continue to be successful, a match between the fighters would be a big draw and sell for the UFC and particularly in Canada.
However, if we pick through the bones of Dana’s remarks what do they really tell us?
First, when he speaks of the difference between Rory’s public and private words and that Rory wants a shot at the title, this is not news nor is it in conflict with MacDonald’s on-record statements in regards to (not) fighting GSP.
Second, as White is not bosom-buddies with MacDonald and obviously doesn’t spend much time around him or talking to him, I find it difficult to believe that the two have had full-throated and serious discussions on the subject. It’s even less likely when we stop to consider the fact, that until Rory climbs the ladder fully, there would be no sense in wasting time on the matter. This also goes without mentioning that GSP must survive Johny Hendricks, this coming November. Resultantly, until both tasks are accomplished the point is moot in terms of serious discussions.
Third, White raises the issue of MacDonald not wanting to “beat his chest”, while in GSP’s house. On this point, there are two points. First, “Tri-Star” is as much Rory’s house (now) as it is Rush’s. Second, he’s not beating his chest about a fight with Georges, because he’s been calmly, matter-of-factly and always speaking about the fact, that he won’t fight his friend and team-mate. On this point, I take both MacDonald and St. Pierre at their words.
Fourth, GSP is not under any delusions that Rory doesn’t want to be champion. Rush has said many times and for years, that he sees MacDonald as a better version of himself, the future of the welterweight division and its “someday” champion. However, none of that is predicated on MacDonald having to fight GSP for the belt.
Fifth, as to the question of whether or not Rush “would be insane to think that Rory wouldn’t want a shot at him”, I would have to point out to White that wanting a shot at the title and wanting a shot at his friend and team-mate, are two different things. Where MacDonald has made it plain that he wants to be champion, he’s (also) made it equally clear that he’s not interested in fighting GSP. Again, I take him at face-value on both points.
Regarding the question of MacDonald’s ascendancy to the 170 throne and exactly what the plan is over at Tri-Star, I have no idea. My guess is, that the only two people who really know are GSP and MacDonald and even then, it might only be Rush who truly knows.
That said, as Silva and Machida will never square-off, so too, do I believe that St. Pierre and MacDonald will never face one another in the Octagon.
On this issue, it could well prove that White is the one who is insane and his insanity could well hit a fever-pitch tonight, should MacDonald defeat Ellenberger; particularly if it’s a solid and decisive victory.