Canadian welterweight Rory MacDonald, under fire in some quarters for the manner of his UFC win Saturday, has got a vote of confidence from champion Georges St-Pierre.
MacDonald (15-1) received criticism from UFC president Dana White and others for not taking the fight to Jake Ellenberger en route to a comfortable victory via decision.
MacDonald and trainer Firas Zahabi, who also coaches St-Pierre, both said they executed their game plan against a dangerous counter-puncher. And that the onus was on Ellenberger to come out of his shell after MacDonald pulled ahead.
"He shouldn't care about the critics," the champion said in a text Sunday to The Canadian Press. "You don't brawl with a brawler.
"It was up to Ellenberger to open up and take more risk because he was losing and he didn't. Rory fought a great fight and even made it look relatively easy."
St-Pierre and MacDonald train together at Montreal's Tristar Gym.