Rory MacDonald will step in the octagon on a Bellator card tonight for his first fight since defecting from the UFC.
The former Reebok brand ambassador parted ways with the UFC when his contract with the league ended, opting for a deal with Bellator MMA. The Canadian-born welterweight will make his debut at Bellator 179 tonight at Wembley Arena in London, against veteran Paul Daley.
Fight time is scheduled for 9 p.m. ET, and will be shown live on Spike TV.
MacDonald ended his UFC career on a two-fight losing streak: He fell to Stephen Thompson at UFC Fight Night 89 in June 2016 and lost to Robbie Lawler at UFC 189 in July 2015 in what is widely regarded as one of the greatest fight in mixed martial arts history.
When MacDonald spoke with Footwear News in March 2016, he admitted the fight he wanted to make happen was against Lawler to avenge his losses. MacDonald fell to Lawler on two separate occasions: a fifth-round knockout at UFC 189 and a split-decision loss at UFC 167 in November 2013.
MacDonald explained his training regimen to FN ahead of his bout with Thompson.
“I’m training in martial arts every day and doing fitness as well — strength and conditioning, rehab, running — just hoping for a fight to come up,” he said.
MacDonald boasts a professional MMA record of 18-4-0. Daley will enter the octagon with a 39-14-2 record.