Rory MacDonald hasn’t walked away from the UFC simply to cash in at Bellator, ‘The Red King’ is chasing titles in two weight division’s and has no intention of waiting in line.
MacDonald was officially unveiled as a Bellator fighter at the weekend, showcased to everyone in the Honda Centre as well as those tuning into the Spike’s US broadcast for Bellator 160. And he sent a stark warning across the roster of both the welterweight and middleweight divisions by claiming he was coming for the belts.
“I’m taking over,” said MacDonald. “I’m the king of this division at 170, I’m going after Koreshkov and his belt. After that I’ve got my eyes on 185lb too.”
The official press release by the promotion stated the 27-year-old Canadian had signed a multi-fight, multi-year deal and president Scott Coker was not one to hold back on the compliments.
“There’s no denying that Rory MacDonald was the cream of the crop when it comes to free agents in MMA,” said Coker. “As I say all the time, if there is a free agent out there, we’re going to talk to them, if they fit our model we’re going to make a hard push to bring them over here.
“I’m very happy that we were able to work out a deal with Rory, and I can’t wait to see him bring his menacing style to the Bellator cage.”
MacDonald’s signing follows other UFC fighters who have made the jump across the competitive landscape to the Viacom-owned promotion in the last 12 months, including former lightweight champion Benson Henderson – who closed in on his second Bellator title shot in three fights with a win on Friday night – and heavyweight Matt Mitrione.
Former UFC welterweight title challenger MacDonald, who hasn’t won a fight since October 2014 after running into Robbie Lawler in last year’s ‘Fight of the Year’ and leading contender ‘Wonderboy’ Stephen Thompson in his last outing inside the Octagon in June, explained his motivations.
“There are multiple reasons why I choose to fight for Bellator MMA and Scott Coker,” said the Tristar standout. “One, they have given me the opportunity to develop and grow a business together. Two, because I already feel respected by the promotion as a professional athlete.
“And, last but not least, because Bellator is offering a setup that no-one in the world can offer me. They believe in me and I’m going to put on a show for you guys.”