Rory MacDonald before fighting BJ Penn in a welterweight mixed martial arts bout at a UFC on Fox event in Seattle, Saturday, Dec. 8, 2012. MacDonald won by unanimous decision. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)

Rory MacDonald

Rory MacDonald’s story is different to most here as he was coming off two losses when he left, but nonetheless, the 27-year-old was still considered one of the best fighters in the welterweight division at the time.

MacDonald had been tipped as a potential future champion when he joined the UFC at just 20-years-old and soon proved hang with more established stars as he defeated the likes of Nate Diaz, Mike Pyle, BJ Penn and Jake Ellenberger.

Sure enough, after winning nine out of 11 fights, MacDonald earned a title shot against Robbie Lawler, and though he would lose by TKO in the fifth round, their brutal war was later declared the ‘Fight Of The Year’ for 2015.

MacDonald then lost to Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson in the final fight of his UFC deal, which was undoubtedly a blow heading into contract negotiations with the promotion.

However, Bellator saw MacDonald as a potential marquee talent and offered him a very attractive financial offer that the UFC decided they weren’t willing to match, and having just become a father, he made the decision to take the more lucrative contract.

Since then MacDonald has gone on to win the Bellator welterweight championship and defend it one time before it slipped from his grasp, while he’s also fought for the middleweight title as well, though in total his Bellator record currently stands at 3-2-1.

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