Top UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald has revealed he will become the latest in a string of high-ranked fighters to test free agency when his current UFC contract expires after his next fight.
“I want to make the most money I can. I want to get paid for what I bring to the table,” MacDonald said on The MMA Hour. “I’ve sacrificed a lot to get to the top, to the world title. I really sacrificed, and I took a lot of chances. I did a lot of favors, I felt like, for the UFC and I don’t think it got returned. So now it’s all about making money, and whoever wants to pay me the most is where I’ll go.”
MacDonald has been negotiating with UFC bosses since his last fight – a World MMA Awards ‘Fight of the Year’ UFC welterweight title fight against welterweight champ Robbie Lawler last July – but has apparently been unable to come to an agreement. His current contract will expire after his upcoming UFC Fight Night 89 bout against fellow top 170lb contender Stephen Thompson. The fight is set to take place on June 18th.
In his July ’15 bout with Lawler, which Rory lost via fifth-round TKO, the Canadian title challenger earned an official salary of $59,000. He was also given an additional $50,000 ‘Fight of the Night’ bonus.
“I’d rather not go through it,” he said. “I mean, I’d rather just agree on something with the UFC and move forward. But we’ll see what happens. I’m very willing to do it though, if that means making more money.”
If MacDonald does indeed part ways with the UFC, the most likely destination for him will be rival promotion Bellator. The Viacom-owned company have recently signed former UFC talents Matt Mitrione, Phil Davis and former lightweight champ Benson Henderson, after reportedly offering better deals to the fighters than the UFC was willing to give.