Former top UFC bantamweight MIchael McDonald recently secured his release from the WME-IMG promotion, and now he’s off to Bellator.
For the right kind of talent at the right place in their career, it seems like Bellator has become the natural next step. Fighters who have reached the near-pinnacle of the UFC’s ranking/divisional system, but aren’t seeing the expected financial rewards have been more willing than ever to test free agency. And as they do, Bellator has been right there to scoop them up. Ryan Bader, Lorenz Larkin, Rory MacDonald, and now former bantamweight title challenger Michael McDonald.
ESPN.com reports that the former WEC signing and longtime UFC 135er has signed a multi-fight deal with the Spike TV promotion, shortly after receiving his release from his UFC contract. McDonald recently aired his grievances about the UFC’s negotiating with him on a new contract, telling ESPN recently:
“I didn’t feel I could trust that ‘yes’ meant ‘yes,’ and ‘no’ meant ‘no,'” McDonald said when discussing recent conversations with the UFC. “I didn’t feel I could trust their motives.”
The California native had even gone so far as to put his career on hiatus until he felt that his contract situation was sorted. It looks like this was the end result of that sorting.
McDonald is coming off a first-round TKO loss to John Lineker back in July of 2016, an event which he headlined. The loss was just his second fight since 2013 after suffering a string of hand injuries.
No debut date has been set for his first fight in his new home, but stay tuned to Bloody Elbow as we’ll be sure to keep you posted with news and updates.