Rory MacDonald’s current UFC deal comes to an end following his headlining fight with Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 89 tomorrow night, and the UFC’s Executive VP and General Manager for UFC Operations in Canada, Tom Wright has claimed that the promotion supports the fighters plan to test his value in the open market.
“I think we’re all about making sure we’ve got as many great Rory MacDonald’s in every part of the world because clearly he’s a great fighter, he’s a great competitor, he’s a great representative of our sport,” Wright said. “But in the end, it’s Rory’s decision, and we encourage him to go into the open market. That’s something he’s certainly entitled to do, and we would encourage him to do so.”
“In the end we’re just looking forward to sitting down with him after and having a good conversation. He wants to put on a big performance and then fight for the UFC championship belt. So, we’ll wait and see what happens. But what Rory does is up to him, and we’ll support whatever he decides.”
MacDonald will be following in the footsteps of fighters like Ben Henderson, Matt Mitrione and Aljamain Sterling, who have all tested their worth on the open market after their current deals expired, with the former two ultimately opting to sign with Bellator, while Sterling chose to remain under the UFC’s umbrella.
MacDonald is the current No.1 contender in the 170lb division, and so if he can overcome Thompson on Saturday night then he’d be in a strong position heading into talks with the sports leading organizations in the hopes of securing a lucrative deal.