Bellator Never Made MacDonald An Offer
Even with a loss to Douglas Lima at the end of his contract, Rory MacDonald assumed he would return to Bellator, but now the former welterweight champion of the Viacom owned brand has hitched his wagon to the PFL.
“[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 hours after the announcement was made. “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.”
“We’re happy for him and we wish him well,” Bellator CEO Scott Coker said in a statement. “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.”
“It’s perfect for fighters,” MacDonald said of the PFL’s season format, which includes a playoff and championship round. “We need to have options to see what fits our goals and have different offers out there to see what fits for us. PFL fit really perfectly for me. I’m really excited about the offer and the opportunities I have with them. I’m excited about their schedule, as far as their season format. It’s performance based. There’s no reason to have to trash talk. With the current format, fans get to appreciate fighters for who they are and what martial arts is all about.
“PFL also does a great job telling individual fighter’s stories, which nowadays it’s all about drama and putting on a bigger show than what you are. That really speaks to me. Being on ESPN, having a huge crowd to see my fights. Obviously, the $1 million prize is huge. Another thing I really like are the two fights in one night for the quarter and semifinals. That’s really intriguing for me.”
“I’m really looking forward to see what the brackets are going to be for next year,” he said of the upcoming 2020 season that will start this coming spring. “They’ve got some great talent now that are going to be there next year, but that’s the exciting thing about PFL, there’s always going to be a mix up for every season. That’s another exciting feature. You never know who’s going to jump into the line-up the next season.”
Report: MMA Fighting