RORY MACDONALD SPEAKS OUT AGAINST UFC, TIMELINE TO FIGHT
Rory MacDonald had harsh words for his former employer and also indicated when and where his next fight will be.
At a press conference following the Bellator event Friday night, MacDonald was critical of the production of UFC shows as well as the Reebok outfitting deal all UFC fighters must comply with.
“Where I was before, everyone is wearing the same uniforms now, we’re all walking out of the same boring dressing room or the gate. It’s boring, people are tired of that.” MacDonald also lauded Bellator’s production value compared to UFC. “The production of the show, it just stands out right away. The big screens, the entrances. They do it bigger. They do it right here.”
As speculated on in this space, Bellator CEO Scott Coker said that MacDonald’s first fight for Bellator will likely take place in Canada. MacDonald seemed to be enthusiastic about the opportunity.
“We’re gonna take Bellator into Canada and we’re gonna do it big,” MacDonald said of the Viacom-owned Bellator. “We’re gonna reinvigorate that market. Those fans are gonna get a proper fight show again.”
Canadian fans will have to wait awhile still to see “The Red King” inside a Bellator cage, though. MacDonald said he wants to allow his chronically broken nose to heal and not fight again until summer 2017.
Hiscoe’s Analysis: It was surprising to hear the typically stoic Rory MacDonald accusing anyone of being boring but he makes a good point. With so many UFC shows these days, the production has become very predictable and the simplicity of much of UFC’s TV production is now less novel. Ten years ago, seeing fighters walk into a dark arena, within arms reach of the fans was a stark but welcome contrast to the pomp of a WWE ring entrance of the time. UFC has toyed with some added production elements at bigger shows but it would be nice to see that more consistently, perhaps to differentiate a huge pay-per-view from a run of the mill TV card, which all look the same to the casual eye if you don’t know the fighters.
As for Bellator using MacDonald to break into the Canadian market, it makes perfect sense, so I’m glad to hear Coker confirm that is the plan. Even with so many shows, UFC can only come to Canada so many times so Bellator could swoop in and serve some underserved markets starving for live entertainment and name attractions like MacDonald.
SUNDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…
-Jim Miller and Joe Lauzon won Fight of the Night at last night’s UFC on Fox show. Demian Maia and Paige VanZant won Performance of the night bonuses for their respective submission and knockout wins over Carlos Condit and Bec Rawlings. All four fighters will receive a $50,000 bonus.
-Maia indicated after his fight and again at the post fight press conference that he is willing to wait for a Welterweight Championship opportunity.
-Also at the press conference, Carlos Condit mulled retirement again. “I don’t know if I belong here anymore,” he said.
-Last night’s UFC on Fox did 2.221 million viewers in the overnight ratings, down from 2.44 million viewers for last month’s UFC on Fox show. This was the first late August show since Fox picked up UFC broadcast rights in 2011. The final rating will likely increase once west coast viewership is more accurately accounted for.
(MMATorch is introducing a Daily News Digest where with one click each day you can get the top story of the day with added analysis, plus smaller tidbits in the News Notes section. Michael Hiscoe is a new MMATorch live events reporter and editorial columnist. He has written reviews for movie websites such as DVDTown.com and MovieMet.com in the past. He has been an avid follower of MMA for over 10 years and now provides his experienced writing and perspective on live MMA events for MMATorch.)