Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald will make his Bellator MMA debut against veteran knockout artist Paul Daley in the Bellator 179 main event, locked and loaded for May 19, 2017, inside SSE Arena in London, England.
Their Spike TV showdown won’t be for the division title, but the promotion would be hard-pressed to deny the winner a crack at the 170-pound crown, though don’t expect “Red King” be sitting around waiting for it.
From his conversation with MMA Fighting:
“I was expecting my first fight to be for the title, but it’s obviously not. I’ll be looking to make a statement in this fight to tie their hand. But to be honest, I’m not going to be waiting around for these title shots. So Bellator’s going to be busy with me. They’re going to be working hard, just finding opponents for me. Look back at my career — I was 19 or 20 years old when I started fighting those guys,” he said. “As soon as I got into the UFC I was willing to take on the number one guys. I fought Carlos Condit in my second appearance in the UFC. That doesn’t change for me. I could have went a different route, and went slower and stayed on the undercards, but that wasn’t me. I know what kind of fighter I am, and I want to compete against the best. I’m not here to be dicking around fighting easy guys. I’ve been past that for a long time. I fight the world’s best to prove I am the best.”
Right now he has to settle for second best.
MacDonald (18-4) failed to come to terms on a new deal with UFC after back-to-back losses to Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson. That said, he’s widely-considered one of the top welterweights in the world, boasting wins over UFC champ Tyron Woodley and top contender Demian Maia.
But will the second chapter of his career implode against “Semtex?”