In a new interview UFC welterweight star Rory MacDonald has revealed that he plans to test his worth on the open market as a free agent when his current deal expires.
Speaking on ‘The MMA Hour’ radio show with Ariel Helwani, MacDonald said that he has just one fight remaining on his current UFC deal which will come against Rory MacDonald in the main event of UFC Fight Night 89 in June.
Talks had been taking place with the UFC regarding a new deal, but according to MacDonald negotiations have stalled and so he’s now planning to listen to other offers after his next fight and then take the best offer.
“I want to make the most money I can,” MacDonald told Helwani. “I want to get paid for what I bring to the table. I’ve sacrificed a lot to get to the top, to the world title. I really sacrificed, and I took a lot of chances. I did a lot of favors, I felt like, for the UFC and I don’t think it got returned. So now it’s all about making money, and whoever wants to pay me the most is where I’ll go.”
MacDonald’s announcement comes hot on the heels of Matt Mitrione announcing he’s signed for Bellator, joining the likes of Ben Henderson, Josh Thomson and Phil Davis who’ve already been recruited there from the UFC after testing their own worth on the open market.
Up until this point Henderson was arguably Bellator’s biggest signing, but while MacDonald isn’t a former champion he may be even more valuable given that he’s still only 26 years of age, is coming off a ‘Fight Of The Year’ welterweight title encounter with Robbie Lawler and still remains the division’s No.1 contender.
While MacDonald isn’t necessarily a huge draw for the UFC at this stage in his career, he’s clearly an integral part of the 170lb weight class and could well be for many years to come, so if they wish to maintain their credibility as the sport’s leading promotion this is the caliber of fighter that surely should be retained at all costs.
On the other hand, if Bellator could land his signature then it’d be a huge boon for their business, and with the likes of the aforementioned Henderson, Josh Koscheck, Paul Daley and Douglas Lima operating their alongside current champion Andrey Koreshkov, they do have credible fights they could put together for MacDonald.