Rory MacDonald’s run in Bellator isn’t quite what he thought it would be when he signed the dotted line last year.
Rory MacDonald has been a Bellator fighter for more than a year, but he hasn’t been thrilled with the switch. While has performed well in the Bellator cage thus far – defeating Paul Daley by second-round submission in his promotional debut this past May – his activity rate has been lower than he’d like.
MacDonald says he expected to fight several times per year, and he only just recently made his debut. And now he has to wait until January for his next bout, a title fight against welterweight champion Douglas Lima.
“I’ve expressed my disappointment with Bellator,” MacDonald told MMAjunkie.com. “I had some conversations with (Bellator president) Scott Coker expressing that. I’m not the type of fighter that needs to be sidelined and fight once a year. I need to be kept busy. I think he knows now. I think he wants to improve on that in 2018 and keep me more busy. I’m waiting. We’ll see. I hope that I’ll get at least three fights in during 2018.”
MacDonald said he doesn’t regret leaving the UFC – where he fought Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title among many other memorable showings – just yet. The Canadian is staying optimistic things will change with Bellator in the near future – perhaps after his title fight against Lima early next year.
“It’s been a slow process with Bellator,” MacDonald said. “I think their organization is – they’re a little bit scattered. It’s a small staff, and things like that. But they’re doing the best they can. I’m sure 2018 we’ll get that ball rolling. Once I’m the champion, I think that creates more excitement going into Canada, going in as the champion. It’s more meaningful to promote a fight up there having a Canadian champion. We’ll see what happens.”
The Tristar product was ranked as one of the best 170-pound fighters on the planet when he opted to sign with Bellator two months after a decision loss to Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 89. His departure followed in the footsteps of several other high-profile free agents. “The Red King” wasn’t happy with his UFC earnings, as well as how much he was being promoted.
MacDonald, who holds a 2014 win over current UFC titleholder Tyron Woodley, will headline Bellator 191 at Great Wester Forum in Inglewood, California against Lima on Jan. 20.