Things are heating up between Paul Daley and Rory MacDonald heading into their showdown at Bellator 179.
Despite losing, 27-year-old Rory MacDonald achieved MMA immortality in his welterweight championship epic against Robbie Lawler at UFC 189.
The five-round slugfest rightfully earned Fight of the Year honors, with both men giving it their all in a fight that is now etched into the history books.
MacDonald was up on the scorecards heading into the fifth but was buckled with a crushing left hand from Lawler in the opening minute of the last round. MacDonald, who had had his nose shattered, was writhing in agony long after referee ‘Big’ John McCarthy had intervened to stop the fight and was praised for his warrior spirit.
British talent Paul Daley, however, who will lock horns with MacDonald in London, England at Bellator 179, told reporters in a conference call that ‘The Red King’ quit against former UFC champ ‘Ruthless’.
“Didn’t he quit against Robbie Lawler? I’m pretty sure he quit in that fight. He quit the fight,” Daley said, per Sherdog’s Tristen Critchfield. “He talks of being a warrior and all of this, but he quit in a fight. Due to a broken nose or not, if you’re a fighter you do not quit.
“I’m not worried about anything Rory has to bring. I don’t care about the statistics.. He hasn’t fought me and that’s it. I fought guys that have never been knocked out, and if you look at their records, I’m the guy that knocked them out.”
Daley, 33, was booted from the UFC after throwing an illegal strike against MMA veteran Josh Koscheck after their grudge match in 2010. MacDonald, who trains out of Quebec, Canada, left the UFC last year and will face ‘Semtex’ in his Bellator debut.
Bellator 179, which will feature MacDonald vs. Daley in the main event, takes place on May 19 at the Wembley Arena in London, England.