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  • 02-21-2013, 05:07 PM
    Zahabi: Like St-Pierre, MacDonald 'learning the hard way' about overtraining
    Zahabi: Like St-Pierre, MacDonald 'learning the hard way' about overtraining | News
    "He trains too hard," Zahabi told (UFC blog for UFC news, UFC rumors, fighter interviews and event previews/recaps). "I tell him all the time."

    On Feb. 13, MacDonald (14-1 MMA, 5-1 UFC) suffered a severe neck and back strain that will sideline him for two to three weeks and prevent a rematch with Carlos Condit (28-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC), whom he was set to fight next month at UFC 158.

    The UFC has given MacDonald's slot to Johny Hendricks (14-1 MMA, 9-1 UFC), who will meet Condit in the co-main event of the March 16 pay-per-view card.

    "Rory is very upset that he will not be able to face Carlos, but he's looking forward to getting back to training as soon as possible," wrote MacDonald's manager, Lex McMahon, in a prepared statement.

    Zahabi, though, said it's far too early to tell when MacDonald will be back in the cage.

    "Now, I just want him to focus on rehabbing his injury, coming back slow and building up the pace," he said. "This is part of fighting. People get injured, but we have to try to keep it at an absolute minimum. It's a big challenge."

    And there have been many. Just this past year, Zahabi watched as his star pupil, St-Pierre, battled back from an ACL injury suffered in training. After a long rehabilitation, the champ returned three months ago at UFC 154 to successfully defend his belt against Condit.

    MacDonald is widely considered to be an heir to St-Pierre's throne, though the 23-year-old said he'll move up in weight or fight other opponents rather than face his teammate, who mentored him at Zahabi's Tristar gym when he moved from his longtime home in the Canadian city of Kelowna to Montreal.

    But MacDonald isn't moving anywhere, literally and figuratively, as injuries mount. UFC 158 is the fourth scheduled event within three years that he's been forced out of due to one ailment or another.

    Although he recently changed his nickname to the more serious "Ares," MacDonald's teammates called him "The Waterboy" after the fictional movie character that rages on the football field.

    "He's too aggressive," Zahabi said. "I really try to hold the reigns. I tell him, 'OK Rory, we're going to do less today,' and we always end up doing more. Emotions get in the way, and he wants to spar more."

    That makes Zahabi's guidance all the more important for MacDonald, whose age should put him close to the peak of his physical abilities.

    "I lecture him all the time: You've got to go slow and steady, and gradually increase the intensity closer to the fight," Zahabi said. "The body can only take so much. And don't forget, he started very young. That's one of the side effects of athletes that start when they're young. They have a young body with a lot of miles."

    Zahabi doesn't underestimate the toll taken on MacDonald following a previous fight with B.J. Penn, which lasted three rounds despite a dominant win, or the effect a quick turnaround for Condit may have had.

    The trainer is trying to get his fighter to take a measured pace.

    "It's something that Georges learned over time," Zahabi said. "He's a lot more sensible, and sometimes you've just got to learn the hard way, and I think Rory is starting to understand. I had a long talk with him, and I told him he has to respect his body and how his body feels."

    Zahabi is relieved that doctors haven't found more serious damage to MacDonald than a neck strain. At this point, the fighter is not allowed to do anything more than walk for the next two to three weeks, after which he'll ease back into technique-only training.

    It could take longer to get back to sparring and preparing for an opponent, but Zahabi, who himself spent two months on the bench with a similar injury, said it's a relatively small price to pay.

    "Your neck is something valuable," he said. "I was scared he had a tear in his neck or something serious. No ligaments were torn, and nothing is fractured. I'm happy that it's not worse."
  • 02-20-2013, 12:47 AM
    Fucking annoying, 4 out of 7 of Rory's scheduled fights he has gotten injured and can't fight, holy hell this guy gets injured a lot
  • 02-19-2013, 07:15 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by TheDoucheyWun View Post
    Sooo Woodley gets his wish to be on card. Ellenberger/Woodley?
    Ellenberger is fighting Marquardt.
  • 02-19-2013, 06:28 PM

    I would have rather had any other fight out there cancelled than this one.

    I hope Hendricks knocks off another top contender in Condit and sticks it to the critics once again. If he beats Condit, he will have one of the best track records to getting a title shot at WW.
  • 02-19-2013, 01:43 PM
    Macdonald forced to withdraw from UFC 158 due to injury; Condit now faces Hendricks

    The highly-anticipated Rory MacDonald vs. Carlos Condit rematch is off.

    According to multiple sources close to the fight, MacDonald suffered a neck and back injury in training recently, which has forced the young Canadian fighter to withdraw from his fight against Condit at UFC 158.

    As a result, according to other sources, Condit will now face Johny Hendricks (14-1) at UFC 158. Hendricks was supposed to fight Jake Ellenberger on the same card. A new opponent has not been signed for Ellenberger.

    "Unfortunately late last week during a training session, Rory suffered a severe neck and back strain," MacDonald's manager Lex McMahon told "Rory is in a great deal of pain and has a very limited range of motion in his neck. Rory consulted a doctor and was advised that he will need to take three to four weeks off from training while he rehabs the injury.

    "Rory is very upset that he will not be able to face Carlos Condit at UFC 158 but is looking forward to getting back to training as soon as possible and fighting the UFC's top competition."

    MacDonald (14-1) most recently defeated B.J. Penn via unanimous decision at UFC on FOX 5 in December. He has won his last four fights in a row since losing his first MMA fight to Condit at UFC 115 in June 2010.

    Condit (28-6) lost a UFC welterweight title unification bout to Georges St-Pierre at UFC 154 in November. The loss snapped his five-fight winning streak.

    UFC 158, headlined by Georges St-Pierre vs. Nick Diaz, will take place March 16 at Bell Centre in Montreal.

    By Ariel Helwani on Feb 18, 6:33p
  • 02-19-2013, 01:04 PM
    Sooo Woodley gets his wish to be on card. Ellenberger/Woodley?
  • 02-19-2013, 12:38 PM
    Well this is a good warm up match for Condit in the sense that he can see where his wrestling is at it he doesn't get clipped early.
  • 02-19-2013, 08:54 AM
    Hendricks gets derailed by condit and diaz pulls off the upset, one can only hope
  • 02-19-2013, 07:01 AM
    I think Hendricks takes Condit. I think he lands alot of good shots but Carlos is tough. Hendricks UD is my pick.
  • 02-19-2013, 06:52 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Pasha K View Post
    Make Condit vs Hendricks.
    That's the plan.
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