With only one quick fight under his belt, former top UFC welterweight Rory MacDonald had somewhat of a quiet first year with Bellator MMA after signing with the promotion in 2016, but all that will change when he faces Douglas Lima for the promotion’s 170-pound belt on January 20, 2018.
However, “The Red King” has his eyes on much, much bigger competition.
MacDonald teased the idea of moving up (way up) to fight in Bellator’s recently revealed heavyweight tournament during an appearance on The MMA Hour this week, revealing that he’d already discussed the unlikely option with Scott Coker:
“I spoke to Scott Coker about it and he said that maybe they would use me as an alternate if someone gets injured, and also depending on how my fight goes with Lima, obviously. I like my chances if someone gets injured or pulls out for whatever reason. I’ve always wanted to do a tournament, and I think it would be interesting doing it, kind of like old school.”
MacDonald discussed just why he would want to move up so much, calling it a challenge that would hearken back to the old school UFC days in an era where that fighting spirit is often lost:
“I know I’d be undersized going in against these guys in a tournament, so it would kind of have an old school UFC vibe. That’s always something that would be interesting. I think it would be interesting (to fight heavier opposition). Fight fans would find it interesting to see the new school MMA with a touch of the old school – the whole no weight limit thing even though I would have to make the weight.”
And while MacDonald fighting the heavyweights signed up for the tournament, which includes names like Fedor Emelianenko, Matt Mitrione, Frank Mir, Roy Nelson, and even Chael Sonnen, sounds a bit ridiculous, the former UFC title contender said that Coker was receptive to the idea:
“He seemed cool with it. He seemed surprised, but happily surprised. I don’t know, I think he’s a pretty straight shooter, so when he tells me something I have no reason not to believe him.”