Bellator CEO Scott Scoker confirmed that the winner of MacDonald-Daley will fight for the welterweight title.
It’s official: Bellator London’s headlining welterweight scrap between Rory MacDonald and Paul Daley is a number one contender’s bout.
Bellator president Scott Coker announced the news during yesterday’s conference call, confirming that the winner of MacDonald vs. Daley will go on to face the winner of Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin at Bellator NYC.
Coker, who was the former CEO of the now-defunct Strikeforce, believes Bellator has the best welterweight talent in the world, citing Daley, MacDonald, Lima, and ‘MVP’ as its flagship stars.
“If you look at our division in the 170-pound weight class, it’s clearly one of our strongest divisions,” Coker said, per MMA Junkie’s Fernanda Prates and Steven Marrocco. “And I think it’s probably the strongest division of welterweights of any leagues currently out there.
“You look at the fight between Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin in New York; we have other prospects, Michael ‘Venom’ Page, Derek Anderson; we have Paul, we have Rory. … But this fight clearly will be for the No. 1 contender’s spot.”
MacDonald, a former UFC title challenger, left the promotion last year after dropping back-to-back losses to Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson. ‘The Red King’ fought tooth-and-nail against ‘Ruthless’ before being TKO’d in the fifth round. He lost in a competitive but one-sided unanimous decision against ‘Wonderboy’. MacDonald was formerly ranked as a top-five UFC welterweight.
Daley, a British knockout artist hailing from Nottingham, is one of the most feared strikers in the division and is 6-1 in his last seven fights. ‘Semtex’ lost via decision against current champion Lima in a three-round, non-title fight at Bellator 158 but rebounded with a highlight reel, flying knee KO against Brennan Ward in January.
Bellator 179, which features MacDonald vs. Daley as the headlining bout, takes place next week, May 19, at the Wembley Arena in London, England.