MacDonald will face tough decision with Ellenburger win

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Rory MacDonald’s (14-1) burgeoning UFC career will reach new heights if the Montreal native can secure victory against Jake Ellenburger (29-6) later this month.

The man known as The Canadian Psycho has impressed hugely since making the move from lightweight – where he was crowned King of the Cage champion – to the ranks of the UFC’s welterweight division.

Undefeated at lightweight, the 23-year-old has lost just once since stepping – back in 2010 – and will move into title contention with a win.

The fact that MacDonald’s team mate and compatriot George St Pierre (GSP) currently holds the title could prove a stumbling block, but MacDonald will force such thoughts to the back of his mind in order to focus on the matter at hand.

Ranked at number nine by Sherdog and number three by the UFC, Jiu-Jitzu specialist MacDonald boasts striking accuracy that will strike fear into his opponent and it is this accuracy that sees the youngster priced as the 4/9 favourite.

California-based Nebraskan Ellenburger – known to fight fans as The Juggernaut – was an NCAA All-American wrestler and will rely on his ground work to stand any chance against MacDonald.

The 28-year-old has won eight of his last nine bouts and while he is not as accurate as his opponent, he boasts devastating power and has won 18 of his 35 fights by KO.

Despite his power and wrestling prowess The Juggernaut is ranked as the outsider here but the betting indicates a close bout, with Ellenburger priced at 7/4.

However, the ace in MacDonald’s pack is that while he has unerring accuracy in his arsenal of weaponry, his record shows he is equally as proficient on the ground as he is with his fists.

So far, the Canadian has won six fights by KO and six by submission and it is this ability to shine in both disciplines that should ultimately see the younger man prevail.

While the title shot MacDonald craves could be decided by politics rather than rankings, he looks sure to at least put his name in the hat.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.m

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James Curtis

After studying for a degree in journalism and gaining his NCTJ, James contributed to a wide range of papers, online publications and broadcasters including the South London Press, Press Association and Sky Sports News before joining the Ladbrokes News team.