In a move that has sent shock-waves through the MMA sport, Roy MacDonald has reportedly exited UFC for Bellator. The news was broken on Wednesday, as the charismatic MacDonald was making a change with his career with Bellator his destination for the next stage of his career,
MacDonald made a name for himself in UFC 189 with his welterweight match against Robbie Lawler, a fight that was later seen as the ‘Fight of the Year.’ MacDonald was a guy that was seen as having a bright future with the UFC organization.
This is a big deal for MacDonald and for the MMA sport, because it’s not every day you see a talented fighter like him leaving UFC for Bellator. This is a huge shot of adrenalin for Bellator to be gaining a talented fighter like MacDonald.
To be sure, things haven’t been going well for the 27-year-old Canadian MacDonald lately, as he’s lost his last two fights against Robbie Lawler at UF 189 on June 11, 2015, and then to Stephen Thompson via a five round decision at UFC Fight Night in June of this year. Those two defeats were crushing losses for MacDonald, and it obviously wasn’t something that was a good thing for his career with the UFC.
The loss to Lawler was MacDonald’s second defeat against him. MacDonald had also been beaten by Carlos Condit six years at UFC 115 in 2010. However, the last two losses were definitely a big buzz-kill for MacDonald’s career because before those defeats, he had won his last three fights and was looking good.
You can speculate that MacDonald might not have been too happy with being put in with a talented fighter like Stephen Thompson in his last match after having been out of action for a year after his match against Lawler. Being put in with a tough guy like Thompson after a year out of the Octagon might have been see as the tipping point for Thompson wanting to bail on the UFC. Of course, if the results of that match had gone favorably for him, perhaps things would be different. But just the fact that Thompson wss matched so tough after a long layoff might have upset him enough to want to go in another direction with his career to Bellator.
MacDonald is still young at 27, and he’s got a lot of years left in him for MMA. Whether he’ll find success with Bellator is the big question. With the right kind of match-making, Thompson could do well. He’s in the prime of his career, so he’s going to be able to hit the ground running right away rather than someone needing more time to develop.