Rory MacDonald leaving Bellator for the PFL

Rory MacDonald is moving to the PFL.

The former Bellator welterweight champion and UFC title contender has signed an exclusive contract to join the roster at the PFL, where he is expected to compete in 2020. News of MacDonald’s move was first reported by ESPN.

The Canadian veteran entered into free agency following his most recent fight where he suffered a loss in the finals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix tournament to Douglas Lima. The loss also cost MacDonald the Bellator welterweight title, which he won in a separate fight against Lima in early 2018.

Following the rematch with Lima, MacDonald remarked that he had fought out his contract with Bellator, but at the time he seemed confident that he would be returning to the promotion.


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Instead, MacDonald has opted to join the PFL after posting a 3-2-1 record in his six fights with Bellator, which includes a failed bid to become a two-division champion when he fell in a middleweight title fight to Gegard Mousasi last September.

MacDonald has long been regarded as one of the best welterweights in the sport after nearly capturing a UFC title in a war with Robbie Lawler in 2015 and then capturing Bellator gold in his second fight with the promotion.

He joins the PFL to compete in the upcoming welterweight season, which will kick off in 2020 with a $1 million grand prize up for grabs for the winner.