Rory MacDonald surprised the UFC let him go

"The Red King" made his Bellator debut at the weekend

Rory MacDonald surprised the UFC let him go

Welterweight Rory MacDonald. Image: ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Rory MacDonald made a successful debut for Bellator at the weekend when he submitted Paul Daley in the second round of their welterweight fight in London.

"The Red King" was viewed by many as the successor to stablemate, George St. Pierre, as the Canadian superstar the UFC could market north of the border.

MacDonald is an affable character but largely shuns the spotlight and struggled to build-up mainstream interest despite his high-level MMA skills.

He has been involved in two epic brawls with Robbie Lawler and holds wins over current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley and his number one contender, Demian Maia.

However, the promotion decided against renewing his contract after he fought down his contract and he was duly snapped up by rival promoter, Bellator. 

Speaking on the MMAHour after his win in London, he said: "I opened a lot of eyes I think, and I’m sure the management over at the UFC feels the same way but we’re in the shoes that we are now, and I’m going to continue my journey the way I fought on Friday. We’ll see where we are the next contract negotiation.

"But I’m very happy with Bellator, and I hope they are with me too," he added. 

MacDonald is now in line to face the winner of the welterweight title fight between Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin next month.