UFC

MacDonald still refuses to face GSP

Rory MacDonald holds an open workout session for media
"No, next question," MacDonald said when asked about St-Pierre.
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Damon Martin

Damon Martin is a veteran mixed martial arts journalist who has been covering the sport since 2004. His work has been published in CNN, Bleacher Report, MMAWeekly.com, Yahoo! Sports, UFC.com and SportsIllustrated.com. He also co-hosts The Great Debate Radio MMA podcast, and has appeared on ESPN Radio and SportsNet Radio. Follow him on Twitter.

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LAS VEGAS, NV

The minute Rory MacDonald sat down after his open workout on Wednesday, it was just a matter of time before somebody asked the inevitable question: so you still won't fight Georges St-Pierre?

This go round, MacDonald's feet barely hit the floor before the question came flying in asking the young Canadian if there is any circumstance where he would finally set friendship aside and challenge St-Pierre for the belt.

Despite saying for years that it will never happen, MacDonald had to once again reiterate the same standard answer that no matter what's dangled in front of him, no amount of money, prestige, fame or gold belts will make him turn on his teammate.

"No, next question," MacDonald said when asked about St-Pierre. "No (it won't ever change)."

It can't be easy on MacDonald as he evolves into an even better fighter every time he steps foot in the Octagon, and it's not going to get any better for him if he wins on Saturday night at UFC 167 and St-Pierre does the same in his fight against Johny Hendricks. MacDonald is currently ranked No. 3 in the world as well right now, which means another victory just draws him that much closer to the top spot in the division.

There's also the comparisons that MacDonald has to face whenever St-Pierre's name comes up. MacDonald says it doesn't bother him that people want to compare him to his teammate, but if there's one goal he has in this sport it's to create his own legacy.

"I'm a young guy, and I've been brought up behind Georges for the last few years so I understand where it comes from and I get it," MacDonald said. "It's part of it for young guys who train with legends in the sport. All I can do is keep taking a step forward in my own career. Putting my own footprint and becoming a legend myself and then one day hopefully a younger guy coming up can be compared to me.

"I'm not trying to be the next Georges. I'm just trying to be the best I can be."

The toughest part about MacDonald's answers is his overwhelming desire to become champion while also acknowledging the fact that he refuses St-Pierre to get there. Time and time again, MacDonald references winning the title and ruling the welterweight division, but with St-Pierre's reign still going on stronger than ever, when that would happen could be anybody's guess.

"I want to be the champ at 170 for a while but I'm going to challenge other weight classes. Eventually. I want to mark my territory at 170 and then exploring other weights," MacDonald said.

MacDonald says that despite being training partners for the last couple of years, he's never once discussed the belt or a title shot while working with St-Pierre because it's not a subject they need to talk about. MacDonald is happy where he's at right now, and he'll stay there until St-Pierre either loses or leaves the division entirely.

Following the end of the event on Saturday night, MacDonald fully expects the questions to start coming in again if both he and St-Pierre are victorious. He anticipates St-Pierre to dominate Hendricks, and MacDonald predicts a first round finish against Lawler. What happens after that, nobody knows.

"I think Georges and I are both going to have great performances," MacDonald said. "And whatever happens, everything will fall in place as God plans and I have faith in that."

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