Tuesday, July 16, 2013 | 6 p.m.
Despite having his own fight to prepare for and promote, Chael Sonnen turned up on the UFC on Fox 8 conference call Wednesday morning.
Well, it wasn’t the real Sonnen but rather a passable welterweight imitation of the current pound-for-pound king of trash talk.
Jake Ellenberger took aim at Rory MacDonald, whom he meets in a co-main event bout Saturday, June 28, in Seattle, with a series of quips and insults. Most sounded like they were taken out of the introductory chapter of a book on how to boast like Sonnen.
“I’m an evidence-based abuser,” Ellenberger cracked. “I didn’t make him make the stupid decision to fight me, I’m just going to make him look stupid when I destroy him.”
MacDonald (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) snickered lightly, without fail, every time Ellenberger (29-6 MMA, 8-2 UFC) lowered his voice and figuratively puffed his chest.
So Ellenberger’s shtick may need some seasoning before it reaches Sonnen’s level. That’s all right because, for the moment, his fighting is more than enough to get him by.
“The Juggernaut” has won eight of nine bouts over the past three years. It would be difficult for the UFC to pass on the No. 4-ranked Ellenberger for the next title shot with another victory.
“That’s obviously the goal at the end of the day, but I’m going out there to perform and win,” Ellenberger said. “Rory doesn’t have a choice where this fight goes. The fight goes where I want it to go.”
Several believe Ellenberger has already done enough to challenge for the belt. Sonnen, ironically, is among the group as he heaped admiration on the veteran as a Fuel TV analyst following UFC 158, where Ellenberger knocked out Nate Marquardt in the first round.
Sonnen argued Ellenberger deserved a chance against Georges St. Pierre more than Johny Hendricks, who ultimately landed the bout at the upcoming UFC 167.
No. 3 MacDonald, on a four-fight win streak, could have an argument of his own if he didn’t refuse to fight St. Pierre, who’s one of his training partners.
“My whole career has been just kind of going with the flow,” MacDonald said. “Everything kind of changes after every fight. I’ll see where I am after this fight and go from there.”
If Ellenberger’s words are to be believed, MacDonald will need to pick himself up off the mat after UFC on Fox 8. Like Sonnen, Ellenberger interlaced his threats with jokes.
Before warning MacDonald about an impending knockout, Ellenberger suggested his opponent stock up on baby food and stick to “Tears for Fears look-alike contests.”
“I don’t care about the disrespect or whatever,” MacDonald responded. “I just get in there and fight my fight. If they suffer, they suffer. I don’t really care if they’re really nice or an (expletive).”