Freelance: MacDonald's Bellator Deal is Done

Rory “Red King” MacDonald signing on the dotted line of a Bellator contract became only a formality when the combat sports world learned that he had been removed from the UFC’s Welterweight rankings. News followed shortly thereafter that the organization would not be matching Bellator’s offer to MacDonald. Terms of the contract have not yet been disclosed, but the signing was made official during last night’s Bellator 160 broadcast.

It’s unknown who MacDonald will face in his promotional debut, but both he and Bellator MMA President Scott Coker have released statements on this new chapter for the company.

“There’s no denying that Rory MacDonald was the cream of the crop when it comes to free agents in MMA,” Bellator President Scott Coker said in a statement.

“As I say all the time, if there is a free agent out there, we’re going to talk to them, if they fit our model we’re going to make a hard push to bring them over here. I’m very happy that we were able to work out a deal with Rory, and I can’t wait to see him bring his menacing style to the Bellator cage.”

A point had been made many times on UFC broadcasts that a goal of the now 27-year-old Canadian was to win a UFC belt by the age of 25. MacDonald went 0-2 in his final UFC bouts, one being a missed opportunity at the 170-pound championship that resulted in a TKO finish for “Ruthless” Robbie Lawler. He was 9-4 with the UFC.

“There are multiple reasons why I choose to fight for Bellator MMA and Scott Coker,” MacDonald said in a statement. “One, they have given me the opportunity to develop and grow a business together. Two, because I already feel respected by the promotion as a professional athlete. And last but not least, because Bellator is offering a setup that no-one in the world can offer me.”