Rory MacDonald is on the verge of signing a deal that will see him leave the UFC to fight for rival promotion Bellator.
MacDonald had entered free agency following his last UFC fight, a unanimous decision loss to Stephen Thompson, and had indicated that he intended to listen to offers from other promotions in order to secure the most lucrative financial deal.
After negotiations, Bellator are believed to have offered the 27 year-old the best deal, and with the UFC unable to match the terms, all that’s left is for MacDonald to put pen to paper on the multi-year agreement.
MacDonald’s departure will be a significant loss for the UFC as he’s been one of the leading welterweight contenders in the promotion for several years, and was responsible for last year’s ‘Fight Of The Year’ in a classic title fight with Robbie Lawler at UFC 189.
On the other hand, it’s a major coup for Bellator, bringing in a world class fighter who is still in his prime, to join the likes of Ben Henderson, Phil Davis and Josh Thomson, who’ve also made the switch in recent times.
There are some concerns regarding MacDonald though, as there’s been a sense that his war with Lawler took a lot out of him, and there were signs that he didn’t look quite himself in the fight with Thompson.
Of most concern will be the fact that MacDonald’s nose was broken in his TKO loss to Lawler, and Thompson was able to do so as well. Afterwards, the Canadian star revealed that the same thing had happened more than once in training as well, despite taking almost a year out after the fight with ‘Ruthless’.
That injury may come back to haunt him again, but nonetheless, many will favor him to quickly stamp his authority in Bellator’s 170lb division, which is currently ruled by Andrey Koreshkov and also features the likes of Michael ‘Venom’ Page, Douglas Lima, Paul Daley and Josh Koscheck.