It has been announced that “The Red King” Rory Macdonald has left the UFC to sign with Bellator MMA. On August 23rd, Rory’s management were notified that the UFC would not be matching Bellator MMA’s offer. On August 24th The Red King was removed from the UFC rankings. [Source] I think this hurts the UFC but boosts Bellator’s roster.
It doesn’t make a lot of sense why they would let him go. The UFC pride themselves in being the premier league of MMA fighters. Rory Macdonald was a popular top 10 fighter. He has always been there with the UFC growing the Canadian market. He is a headline fighter. He is considered one of the best Welterweights in the world, even holding a win over the current champ Tyron Woodley. He put on a bloody fight of the year against Robbie Lawler, one of the best fights of all time. So why let him go? I think it has to do with greed.
We all know that “The Red King” wasn’t getting paid what he deserved. Rory fought in a championship fight, a bloody war, one of the most memorable fights of all time. Easilly as good as Nate vs Conor 2. He made a measly $59,000 for it. Rory said it was the best night of his life. But after that he started talking more about deserving more for putting it on the line like he does. I think he was right. Rory deserved to make enough to support his family for all of the wars he has put on. It seems the UFC values trash talkers more than true martial artists.
I was hoping that the UFC would be able to see his value, and that even though he was testing the open market. They would match the offer. I guess this shows that the UFC still does not know the true value of their fighters. I think a lot of fans are going to be disappointed in this decision. What does this mean for the Canadian MMA market? Which Dana White once called the mecca of MMA. Does this mean less Canadian shows? Only time will tell.
In the end I am happy for Rory. I hope he can make the money he deserves for his family and quickly climb the ranks of Bellator while getting paid. This is very good for Bellator because when Rory fights people watch. I know I will be tuning in to his first fight in Bellator. It’s not at all a bad thing for Macdonald. I can imagine they gave him a lucrative contract if the UFc wouldn’t match and this also opens opportunities for new sponsors. The fans will still get to see Rory in some exciting match ups. I think the only loser in this scenario is the UFC. They probably don’t even know what they lost.
What do you guys think? Bad move by UFC? Good move for Bellator? Who do you want to see Rory Macdonald match up against first? Let me know on twitter @MMAFanJesse. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the fights.