St. Pierre, MacDonald say they won't fight

ATLANTA -- Given the backstory between Jon Jones and Rashad Evans, the concept of teammates fighting teammates is a hot one heading into this weekend’s UFC 145 event at Philips Arena.

Welterweights Rory MacDonald and Georges St. Pierre seem confident they are on the same page when it comes to the issue.

The 22-year-old MacDonald told ESPN.com on Thursday he would rather make a move to the middleweight division than ever face St. Pierre in the cage -- even if it meant consistently giving up a size advantage.

“Me and Georges are teammates and friends, so it’s not going to get to that point like it did with Rashad and Jones,” MacDonald said. “I understand people want to see that drama, but I’m not big into drama.

“Hopefully, he retires or he moves up. Whatever. I’ll wait my turn. I’m not scared of fighting bigger guys. I don’t really care about my size. I’ll fight small.”

St. Pierre, who is expected to defend his title against Carlos Condit later this year after undergoing knee surgery, said the same, adding there are plenty of options for both of them to fight at 170 pounds other than each other.

“I’m not interested in fighting him,” St. Pierre said. “There are a lot of welterweights. I don’t think we have to do it now. In two years, who knows? Maybe I’ll go to middleweight.

“He’s a friend -- like a brother for me. I just hope the best for him and I know one day he’ll be world champion.”

Both seemed to suggest the thought of fighting each other is still years down the road anyway. MacDonald pointed out the fact he’s still very young in his career, while St. Pierre pointed to the number of other contenders in the weight class.

And yet, both also pointed out reasons to suggest that day might not be so far away. MacDonald admitted that he’s “creeping up on Georges,” in terms of skills, and said he could defeat Condit, the No. 2 fighter in the division, in a rematch any time.

That said, it sounds as though there have been private discussions between the two to eliminate the circumstances that fueled the rivalry between Jones and Evans.

“It’s a thing in the gym,” MacDonald said. “It’s a rule in the gym.”

St. Pierre did acknowledge anything can change in life and no one knows what the future holds -- but as of right now, he has no intention of ever fighting a teammate.

“I have a hard time fighting a guy I like,” St. Pierre said. “When I fought Jake Shields, I had a hard time.

“You never know what’s going to happen in the future. Sometimes stuff happens and people separate. People are friends in the beginning and then not. But right now, I’m not interested [in fighting MacDonald] at all.”