UFC 145’s Rory MacDonald ‘Creeping Up’ on Teammate GSP, but Wouldn’t Fight Him

Rory MacDonald vs. Che Mills (James Law/HeavyMMA)

Tristar Gym welterweight meets Che Mills in UFC 145 co-main event

ATLANTA – The biggest storyline in the UFC for more than a year has been former friends and teammates Jon Jones and Rashad Evans and their eventual fight.

That grudge match finally happens Saturday at UFC 145 in Atlanta. But Rory MacDonald, who fights Che Mills in the co-main event on the card, won’t put himself in that same situation down the road.

MacDonald, a welterweight teammate and training partner for UFC 170-pound champion Georges St-Pierre at the Tristar Gym in Montreal, said Thursday he won’t let it get to the point he has to fight GSP – even though St-Pierre himself has said MacDonald will one day be the division’s champion.

“I’m creeping up (on St-Pierre),” MacDonald told the media after a Thursday workout at Georgia State University. “Georges has a lot of things I can learn from, but I’m still very young and I appreciate being his training partner. Me and Georges are teammates and friends, so it’s not going to get to that point like Rashad and Jones.”

So if St-Pierre continues to defend his welterweight title and MacDonald continues to climb the ladder and puts himself into a top contender’s spot? What then?

Simple, MacDonald says. He’ll just wait, or he’ll move up to middleweight.

“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.”

MacDonald is the biggest favorite on a card that includes several heavy favorites. It’s a role he’d rather have reversed, saying he prefers to be the underdog. But in the co-main event spot, he’ll get a bump in recognition. And he said he didn’t train for Mills as if he was as big of a favorite – 6-to-1 – as he is.

“(It’s) not really (bad being favored) as long as you keep a level head,” MacDonald said. “I understand the media is going to go one way. It doesn’t necessarily mean that’s the truth. I’m pretty sure in my head he’s going to be a dangerous fighter, so I trained likewise.”