The news leaked out earlier this week, but Bellator MMA made it official on Friday during the Bellator 160: Henderson vs. Pitbull broadcast. The fight promotion has inked a deal with welterweight Rory MacDonald.
“There’s no denying that Rory MacDonald was the cream of the crop when it comes to free agents in MMA,” Bellator President Scott Coker said. “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 is widely regarded as one of the best 170-pound fighters in the world. The 13-fight UFC veteran said there were many reasons that lead to his decision to sign with Bellator MMA.
“There’s many reasons, but straight up, though, Bellator gave me an offer that nobody in the world could match. They’re giving me an opportunity here that nobody else can do for me. They believe in me, and I’m here to put on a show,” he said.
MacDonald plans to have an immediate impact in the Bellator welterweight division, and has his sights set on 170-pound champion Andrey Koreshkov. After that, “The Canadian psycho” has bigger plans.
“I’m taking over. I’m the king of this division at 170. I’m going after Koreshkov and his belt. After that, I’ve got my eye on 185 too.
MacDonald last fought on June 18, losing to top welterweight contender Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson by decision at UFC Fight Night 89. The 27-year-old Canadian is coming off back-to-back losses for the first time in his career, losing to then-champion Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 in July 2015 prior to the loss to Thompson. He expects to start a winning streak in his Bellator MMA debut.