Rory MacDonald on leaving Bellator for PFL: “It seemed like their interest in me kinda died”

Rory MacDonald

Former Bellator welterweight champion and UFC welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald made headlines on Monday when it was announced by ESPN that he was leaving Bellator MMA and joining the Professional Fighters League.

Following his shocking move, MacDonald joined Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show Podcast and discussed why he left Bellator MMA following his loss to Douglas Lima in October, as his contract expired after that fight.

In an episode that was over an hour long, MacDonald revealed a few important notes, including the fact that he felt Bellator’s interest in him started to die as his time went on with the promotion and also noted that he hasn’t heard much from them since deciding to make the jump to PFL.

“From when I first signed with Bellator, it seemed like they wanted to use me to be a marquee guy for them. It just seemed like their interest in me kinda died over the years, I’m not sure or their goals changed, I’m not really too sure why it didn’t happen on their end. I haven’t heard too much from them, to be honest.”

Back in April of 2019, MacDonald contemplated retirement after fighting to a draw against Jon Fitch during the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix, but those thoughts were quickly shut down by both MacDonald and his coach Firas Zahabi. After inking his new deal with PFL, MacDonald told Helwani he’d like to fight for another 10 years.

In a statement released by Helwani, MacDonald stated that he was intrigued by the $1 million belt and the world championship is there for the best fighter in the organization.

“I’m excited to join the PFL, where every year, the world championship and $1 million belt is there for the best fighter, without any games or politics. I believe in the PFL sport-season format and fighters-first organization.”

While he has his sights set on both the Welterweight world title and $1 million belt, MacDonald also told ESPN that his deal with PFL is the most lucrative deal he’s ever signed.

There have been a few people who have already reacted to the headline news of MacDonald’s move, including his teammate Georges St-Pierre, his Bellator rival Douglas Lima, and Bellator President Scott Coker who wished MacDonald nothing but the best moving forward.

After joining Bellator MMA in 2017, MacDonald would compile a 3-2-1 record through six fights and earned the Welterweight title after defeating Douglas Lima at Bellator 192. Lima would eventually earn the title back following the Grand Prix tournament.

How do you think Rory MacDonald will do over in the PFL?

This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 12/18/2019