Rory MacDonald
Red King

Canada

Advances to WW Grand Prix Final
WelterweightBellator
June 16, 2019
MacDonald defeated Neiman Gracie via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47) at Bellator 222 on June 14 at Madison Square Garden.
ANALYSIS
It was a regular day at the office for MacDonald, who dominated Gracie in just about every aspect of the fight. While many combatants are afraid to go to the ground with a Gracie, MacDonald is a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu as well, and his submission defense was showcased in this contest. MacDonald wasn't hesitant to take Gracie to the mat and ultimately ended up scoring a lot of points there via ground-and-pound. Gracie did threaten with a heel hook on one occasion, but MacDonald has been in that situation before and was able to roll out of it. Gracie also did some damage to MacDonald's lead leg early in the fight, but it wasn't enough to get the favor of the judges in the first few rounds. While Gracie appeared to take the fifth and final round, it was likely due to MacDonald fighting conservatively, knowing he had the bout in hand. With the victory, MacDonald will advance to the Welterweight Grand Prix Final against Douglas Lima -- who he took the belt from in his second Bellator fight. While Lima's camp is pushing for a September fight, MacDonald stated afterwards that he would prefer to settle the score in November or December. This prospective clash of elite 170-pounders is likely one of the better fights the promotion can put on.
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Announced as Bellator 222 headliner
WelterweightBellator
April 30, 2019
MacDonald released a statement via his personal Twitter account that disclosed his intent to follow through with his commitment to fight Neiman Gracie at Bellator 222 on June 14 at Madison Square Garden.
ANALYSIS
MacDonald cast plenty of doubt on his fighting future following his matchup against Jon Fitch at Bellator 220 on Saturday, leading many to wonder whether or not his scheduled Welterweight Grand Prix matchup against Neiman Gracie would go through as planned. The promotion removed any doubts about this via a press release that was sent out at approximately the same time as MacDonald's statement. In said statement, MacDonald explicitly clarified that "I am not retiring from my professional MMA career," later adding "I am going to move forward in this tournament and compete boldly against Neiman Gracie." MacDonald technically has a 180-day medical suspension to deal with as well, but if both he and the promotion are calling this fight official, they must have some indication that he'll be cleared by a physician earlier and get his license approved in the state of New York.
Handed medical suspension
WelterweightBellator
April 29, 2019
MacDonald was handed a 180-day medical suspension for a right elbow injury, MMA Fighting Newswire reports.
ANALYSIS
MacDonald was able to retain his title Saturday by fighting Jon Fitch to a majority draw (46-48, 47-47, 47-47) at Bellator 220, but in the process suffered an elbow injury that drew the attention of the California State Athletic Commission. As a result, MacDonald will now need to sit out at least 180 days before being allowed to return to active competition unless he were to be cleared by a physician. Furthermore, he's also been handed a 60-day medical suspension stemming from a cut on the right side of his face, but that issue should be resolved well before the elbow. The injuries, in addition to MacDonald's mixed feelings about his fighting future, seem to put his second-round matchup against Neiman Gracie in great jeopardy.
Retains title and advances in WW tourney
WelterweightBellator
April 28, 2019
MacDonald will advance in the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix after he fought Jon Fitch to a majority draw (46-48, 47-47, 47-47) at Bellator 220 on Saturday in San Jose.
ANALYSIS
MacDonald was clearly the better striker in this one, but as his post-fight interview explained, he seemed to lack the killer instinct once typical of the "Red King." He had Fitch severely wobbled in the fourth round, but was almost hesitant to finish the job, allowing Fitch to cling on to a leg and survive. Fitch ultimately was able to execute a takedown and finish the round on top, before putting forth a dominant Round 5 that tightened up the scorecards. MacDonald put forth good takedown defense early and seemed to win Rounds 1 and 2, while Fitch was likely credited with Rounds 3 and 5. The fourth likely went to MacDonald due to the early damage, but one can't fault a judge for wanting to award it to Fitch after the strong finish. It was a well-executed game plan for Fitch from the get-go, but because the champion was not officially defeated, he will return the 170-pound belt and advance in the tournament to face Neiman Gracie. What really made this fight noteworthy was MacDonald's post-fight comments, as he opened up to Big John McCarthy about his doubts regarding his fighting future. "It takes a certain spirit to come in here and put a man through pain. I don't know if I have that same drug in me any more," MacDonald stated -- words that almost sounded like a retirement speech. He's supposed to take on Neiman Gracie on June 14, but it appears he has some priorities to sort out before fans can count on him appearing at that event.
Suffers a knockout loss against Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi
WelterweightBellator
September 29, 2018
MacDonald lost to Gegard Mousasi via TKO (punches) at 3:23 of Round 2 at Bellator 206 on Saturday in San Jose, Calif.
ANALYSIS
MacDonald deserves credit for wanting to move up in weight and challenge himself after winning the Bellator welterweight title. Unfortunately, this fight against Mousasi went about as bad as possible. Mousasi bested him in almost every aspect of the sport. The middleweight champion won the striking battle in the first round due to a strong jab. In the second round, MacDonald took the fight to the floor, which turned out to be a mistake. Mousasi showed strong top position grappling and ground-and-pound. Once he took the back, the fight was basically over. MacDonald will need to heal up quick. His next fight will be a title defense against Jon Fitch in the first round of the Bellator welterweight tournament.
Will join welterweight tourney after Mousasi fight
WelterweightBellator
July 20, 2018
MacDonald will enter the field of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix following his Sept. 29 matchup against Gegard Mousasi, MMAFighting.com reports.
ANALYSIS
MacDonald will attempt to earn his second Bellator belt at the Sept. 29 event, and the 10-man tournament will have its opening rounds on the same date. It will mark the promotion's first show on the subscription-based DAZN platform, making it a landmark event for Bellator MMA. Other welterweight fighters that will participate in the tournament include the recently-signed Paul Daley, Yaroslav Amosov, Jon Fitch, Neiman Gracie, Andrey Koreshkov, Lorenz Larkin, Douglas Lima, Michael Page and Ed Ruth.