When word first got out yesterday that Rory MacDonald had signed for PFL it appeared as if it was his decision to walk away from Bellator, but it’s not emerged that was not the case.
Instead, MacDonald has revealed that Bellator simply opted not to re-sign him, which led to his decision to sign for the PFL instead.
“[The deal with PFL] came about after a period of time, we had to give Bellator some time to give us an offer, but we never heard anything from them,” MacDonald told MMA Fighting. “So we exercised to negotiate with other companies and PFL really stepped up.
“I haven’t heard anything from Bellator. It’s hard for me to say where they stand on it. No, [they didn’t make an offer]. I was a bit surprised but I think God’s hand was on this whole thing and he worked it out for my good so I’m really thankful for the Lord that he’s blessed me with this opportunity.”
This news marks quite a turnaround since MacDonald had been heralded as a major marquee star for Bellator when they signed him from the UFC in 2016.
During his run in the Bellator promotion MacDonald won their welterweight title and successfully defended it, but also came up short in an attempt to win the middleweight title and most recently lost his 170lb belt to Douglas Lima in the final fight of his deal, leaving him with an overall 3-2-1 record there.
“We’re happy for him and we wish him well,” Bellator boss Scott Coker told MMAfighting.com of MacDonald’s new deal with PFL. “How I feel if there’s a fighter that we really want to keep, we would keep them. I think if you view the historical data, the fighters in Strikeforce or even in Bellator, if we wanted to keep them on the roster, we’ve been able to do it.”
Despite the apparent snub, MacDonald insists he doesn’t hold a grudge against his former employer.
“I left off with the UFC on good terms,” MacDonald said. “I always respected them in my interviews and I appreciated all they had done for me. I’m just moving on and doing what’s best for my business and my family. The same goes for Bellator.
“A lot of great things happened together. I’m happy with what we did together and you never know what will happen down the road. I never want to burn bridges with someone. I like to show respect and appreciation.”