Rory MacDonald is back and more confident than ever before. After the Canadian decisively beat Paul Daley in the main event of Bellator 179 in London, he claimed that the welterweight division—or the entire Bellator roster—could not hold a candle to him. His message: “I’m gonna destroy them.”
For the short haul, the 27-year-old, who left the UFC on a two-fight losing streak, is eyeing on winning Bellator’s welterweight title. Next month at Bellator: Sonnen vs. Silva, Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin will fight for the belt. In MacDonald’s mind, it does not matter who the winner will be.
“I think I’m the best in the world. And I think I made a statement tonight. [Douglas] Lima had a pretty hard fight with [Paul] Daley. I went out there; I smoked [Daley] in every discipline,” MacDonald said after his fight yesterday. “It was a message that I’m just on another level. These guys have a lot of pain to deal with when they get in the cage with me.”
He has a clear vision of his long-term plans with Bellator. “I want to be a champion, a two-division champion if I can. And outside of that, the big fights, the legendary fighters, they’re around here in Bellator. Sign me up. Those are fan-friendly fights,” MacDonald stated and added that he would be fine with fighting the likes of Chael Sonnen, Wanderlei Silva and Fedor Emelianenko at catchweights.
But for now, the “Red King” just intends to step into the cage as often as possible. He has been asking Bellator repeatedly to give him bouts in which he would not play it safe. “I’m not there to play games or pick my shots. I’ve had a few fights like that. I always had regrets,” he said.
MacDonald has also been in a few wars during his tenure with the UFC. Especially his second encounter with Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 which he lost by TKO in the fifth round when his nose was broken and he could not take the pain anymore comes to mind. His shown confidence now stems from returning to the cage and beating Daley in dominant fashion. “It was a good feeling to be back. Two years gives you a lot of time to doubt yourself,” MacDonald admitted. These doubts are apparently gone.