Dana White blasts MacDonald and Ellenberger because of their slow fight.
First, of course, since I am mentioning this, look, hostile workplace environment! Your boss going out and calling you names in front of the press! Jesus, someone sue this man.
Moreover, I dislike these simplistic analyses. Sometime, even fights can be dull. The styles of the fighters don't mesh very well.
But what mostly gets me is that Dana White pretends that winning a slow fight has the same consequences for the fighter as losing well. Dana says that it isn't good for MacDonald to fight that way - but you know what's worse? Losing. Even Ellenberger admits he froze up (something I wish I had predicted on my blog so I could point and say, "I knew that would happen"; for the record, I think that MacDonald v. Ellenberger prefigures GSP v. Hendricks and I think there's a very good chance that Hendricks will freeze up in the same way). But you know what would have unfrozen him? If MacDonald had started charging in. I bet that he would have perked right the fuck up. He would have suddenly remembered how to throw bombs off of stuffing a takedown and the value of counterpunching, which are his usual strategies.
But losing well doesn't match winning poorly. When you win, you get double your base pay, for most fighters. Even the UFC's morally and legally dubious undocumented discretionary bonuses don't do that. Sure, while boring fights aren't likely to thrill sponsors, losses are worse. A "bad" win might not get you much closer to the title, but a loss gets you further away from it (something that is certainly on Ellenberger's mind, right now, after losses to both MacDonald and Kampmann - his title dreams are shot until he can put together a decent winning streakk, again).
What about head trauma? Careful fighters fight longer, they avoid injuries, they aren't laid up with long periods of time where they can't fight or train. It is the difference between fighting until you're 40 or fighting until you're 32, it's the difference between three fights a year and two fights a year.
Let's face it, a "bad" win is just better than going out on your shield - except for the UFC, who knows that fans like dramatic finishes more than measured, tactical fighting. A decent one time discretionary bonus isn't worth what you lose if you do lose - sponsors, greater distance from a title shot, your health.
So every time a tactical fighter wins tactically, Master of Hostile Workplaces, Dana White, goes to the press and bitches and moans about it. That kind of win is bad for a fighter's career! It's bad for the sport. When the truth is, it's bad for Dana White's vision of how an MMA fight should look. Only Dana, whose body and career aren't on the line, can pretend that losing well is the equivalent of winning badly.
I am not particularly defending MacDonald. I think he could have been more aggressive, I think he could have hunted Ellenberger down more. But I don't think he should have been too much more aggressive. Ellenberger was clearly turtling up. It's really hard to finish a fighter who is not engaging. Dana White should know that. It is not for MacDonald to try to get fighters to come out of their shell. They should arrive physically and mentally prepared to fight. Ellenberger wasn't. But that isn't Rory's fault. Dana should fucking know better, Dana should know it takes two to fight.