Bellator has finally gone and done it. They’ve landed their big, massive free agent. It took years of work to do so, but Bellator pulled it off and, with that, the whole landscape of MMA has changed. According to multiple sources on Wednesday including Flo Combat and MMA Fighting, Bellator has signed former UFC welterweight contender Rory MacDonald.
Rory Mac is a familiar name to many MMA fans. He is best known as being a protege to possible greatest fighter of all time Georges St-Pierre, and is best remembered for his greatest fight of all time candidate opposite Robbie Lawler at UFC 194, where both men were turned into horribly bloody messes. Attaching him to others’ names, however, doesn’t speak to his individual excellence. Here are some of his greatest achievements:
- Has been fighting in MMA professionally since AGE SIXTEEN! SIXTEEN! He cleared out the entire regional scene of western Canada before he even hit 20! Picked up some very good wins during his time on the Canadian indie circuit, beating Jordan Mein, Clay French and Kajan Johnson.
- Signed with the UFC at just 20 years of age, making him the youngest fighter on the roster at the time.
- Absolutely DESTROYED Nate Diaz in just his third UFC fight, suplexing him repeatedly and taking a dominant decision win.
- EMBARRASSED UFC legend BJ Penn at UFC on Fox 5, beating the legend to a pulp and forcing him to retire for a time.
- HANDILY BEAT the current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley in 2014, out-wrestling the accomplished wrestler with absolutely no difficulty.
- Also finished former WEC champion Mike Pyle, former Strikeforce champion Tarec Saffiedine and handily beat possible UFC top contender Demian Maia.
Rory MacDonald is an amazingly good fighter and he is a huge addition to the Bellator roster.
The move is big, but not at all surprising. MacDonald gave a brutally honest interview to Ariel Helwani on MMA Fighting’s The MMA Hour back in march (it was so honest that it actually got Helwani fired from his job with Fox Sports). Therein, he tore into the UFC, its handling of him, and the pay he has been receiving:
“I want to make the most money I can. I want to get paid for what I bring to the table. 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…So I just have to really fight for what is right, on the business side now. And I guess getting to that point, to the world title and stuff, after a hard fight like that, it just opened my eyes to it. Okay, now it’s time to get a little more business savvy rather than just do whatever just to get to the big fight.”
MacDonald instantly becomes the best pound-for-pound fighter in Bellator and the best fighter in its welterweight division. No fight has been announced yet, but there are plenty of options out there including a welterweight title fight with Andrey Koreshkov, a battle with fun veteran Paul Daley, or even a matchup with real-life ninja Michael Page.
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