Rory MacDonald is just two days away from making his Bellator MMA debut against Paul Daley. The former UFC title challenger jumped ship in free agency last year, ending a six-year stint inside the Octagon, and is one of the bigger UFC-to-Bellator acquisitions made to date.
In a pre-fight interview with WHOA TV, MacDonald was asked about his long-term plans, and whether or not that involved eventually returning to the UFC.
“I’m happy here in Bellator,” MacDonald said. “Obviously I’m here to get paid and when it’s time for contract negotiations I’ll be open to anyone’s offer. I’m a prizefighter and that’s what I’m about. But I’m very happy so far here in Bellator. I’m looking for a long-term relationship, so far it’s been going great. My plans here are to be champion, maybe a two-division champion, and also to take on the biggest names in Bellator for the superfights.”
MacDonald competed at lightweight early in his career, and has since established himself as one of the world’s best welterweights, but he’s never fought at middleweight before. The 27-year-old Canadian cited the potential for a more active schedule (which means more money) as the main reason behind his interest in going up to 185.
“More money,” MacDonald said. “It’s something the fans I think would enjoy, seeing a smaller fighter go up and challenge the bigger guys. For myself, it’s a challenge. I wouldn’t be a big middleweight by any means, but it would keep me more busy. I’d be able to fight more often, I wouldn’t have to cut weight, so going from 170 to 185 and back and forth, I would be able to keep a very busy schedule, and I’m about that.”
Bellator 179: Daley vs. MacDonald airs on Friday, May 19th at 9 PM ET/PT on Spike (tape-delayed, obviously). In the UK, Channel 5 will broadcast the main card on a one-hour delay at 10 PM local time.