Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald believes the reason for his recent performances are due to a lack of anger in his heart.
MacDonald’s winless streak increased to two after his majority decision draw against Jon Fitch in their welterweight grand prix quarterfinal last month.
Speaking after the fight, the Canadian revealed it was hard for him to pull the trigger and even seemed to be hinting at retirement.
While he later clarified in a statement that he wouldn’t be retiring and would face Neiman Gracie as planned, there still seems to be some issues.
One of them is that MacDonald no longer has the anger that usually drove him in his fights as he explained on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show on Monday.
“I felt like I was unsure of the emotions I was feeling in the fight,” MacDonald said. “For the longest time, I fought with a certain anger inside of me so it was kind of like a release. I felt good to fight, to do damage and it made me feel better about myself in some kind of a way.
“Lately, because of my new relationship with Jesus Christ, I just don’t feel that hurt in my heart or that pain that used to drive me. I have new life and peace in my heart and I don’t really have that anger that used to drive me. So it’s kind of weird to go into a fight and not go through the same emotions that I’m used to feeling. So I guess I was just caught up [during the post-fight interview] thinking about why I’m feeling like this, what am I doing here? I was just not sure what to make of it.”
No Internal Conflicts
While MacDonald’s newfound Christian faith has played a role, he is not conflicted about being a cage-fighter.
He also feels that despite no longer having the anger that usually drove him, he now understands himself more going forward and will no longer second-guess himself.
“No, I’m not conflicted about being a Christian and fighting,” he explained. “It was more about moving forward in my role for what I’m going to do for God. Also, what I was saying about my emotions inside the cage. So what my passions, what my reasons are for fighting, what drives me to do a good job, to push through the hard times.
“You need something to fuel your fire and I guess that fight was kind of me crossing a bridge between my old self and new self as a martial artist. So walking over that bridge so to speak during that fight, I had some mixed emotions and confusion about what was happening. But after some reflection, I think I understand myself going forward and I won’t be second-guessing myself in there when I fight Neiman. I have it in my heart and my head, what I want to do and need to do as a competitor.”
MacDonald has two wins in his last six fights, with just the one finish over Paul Daley in his Bellator debut. Before the Fitch fight, he suffered a TKO defeat at the hands of middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi.
Do you think the “Red King” can get back to his old winning ways?