Not only are big fights falling left and right due to steroids and scheduling issues, future big fights are being preemptively killed due to the most annoying emotions in the MMA scene: friendship and loyalty. Here’s Rory MacDonald talking about the possibility of fighting GSP:
“It’s about principle. You can’t dance with the devil. I didn’t get into (mixed martial arts) for money … I’m not taking a fight against Georges. We’re training partners and help each other get better … I stick to my principles. I believe in friendship. I have to think more tomorrow and 10 years from now.”
And in another interview:
“I understand people want to see that drama, but I’m not big into drama,” MacDonald said. “We enjoy rolling together and hopefully he retires or moves up (before I would be next in line). I’ll wait my turn. It’s a rule in the gym (that we won’t fight each other). (I’d move up) – I’m not scared of fighting bigger guys. I don’t really care about my size – I’d fight small. I don’t care.”
I’m not putting too much stock in this. Even if Rory is planning on fighting GSP some day, what is he supposed to do, just f*ckin say that now? Wink at GSP every so often during practice and make little pew pew finger guns at him? That’d be stupid.
So yes, we are going to sit through this kabuki play where everyone stays loyal for the next few years as Rory MacDonald transforms from serious prospect to legit challenger. Then we’ll see where things stand. If Rory really seems like the guy to beat GSP, you better believe the UFC will put serious pressure on the fight to happen. Maybe it will, maybe it won’t. But trying to gauge that now is just pointless. Unless the media is just trying to force a rift in the friendship. Hey, it worked with Rashad and Jon!