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What Does Rory MacDonald’s Future Look Like?

MacDonald in a suit

After a tough loss to rising contender Stephen Thompson, Rory MacDonald’s future is now anyone’s guess. This article will examine a few logical scenarios.

Some of the biggest US gambling news before UFC: MacDonald vs. Thompson was the fact that Rory MacDonald was on the last fight of his UFC contract. Long gone are the days of fighters immediately re-signing with the UFC before their contract expires. Today, there are more options than ever for a fighter to choose from.

There is no questioning what MMA promotion has the top fighters in the world. The UFC has been the top dog ever since it acquired Pride FC in 2007. Despite this, an MMA fighter can make a respectable living outside the UFC these days, and a number of promotions are beginning to make a name for themselves with big signings. So let’s take a look at the most-likely scenario first for Rory MacDonald’s future.

MacDonald re-signs with the UFC

Although Rory MacDonald has been claiming he looking for the highest paycheck, this man is a true competitor. There is likely validity to his statements that he wants to find a promotion that will pay him what he’s worth, but the best fighters are in the UFC, and MacDonald has always sought to fight against the best.

MacDonald vs Penn

MacDonald has faced some of the best fighters in the world (photo: o.canada.com)

It also seems unlikely the UFC will allow MacDonald to leave without at least offering him a substantial pay raise. It’s true he’s coming off two losses, but the Canadian is unquestionably one of the best fighters at 170 pounds, and the UFC would be making a tremendous mistake allowing one of their brightest young stars to jump ship. It is likely that most online sportsbooks in the US would still have MacDonald as a favorite over the vast majority of fighters at welterweight.

Lastly, MacDonald is one of the few Canadian stars in the sport. Rumors of a George St. Pierre return have been brewing lately, but until that happens MacDonald is the face of Canadian MMA, and one of the few fighters capable of selling out stadiums in the country.

MacDonald signs with Bellator

A Bellator signing seems the next most logical scenario for Rory MacDonald’s future. The second-biggest MMA promotion has signed some major fighters over the past year including Phil Davis, Josh Thompson, Matt Mitrione, and Ben Henderson. A Bellator deal with Rory MacDonald would be one of their biggest signings to date, and could have a significant impact on the sport moving forward.

Bendo signs with Bellator

Ben Henderson and Andrey Koreshkov are two fighters MacDonald could face in Bellator (photo: mmajunkie.com)

Part of the reason that Bellator is able to sign so many big-name fighters recently is because they are backed by Viacom. As one of the largest broadcasting and cable companies in the world, Viacom has the money to bring over almost any fighter they want, and they are determined to grow Bellator into a true UFC competitor.

If indeed MacDonald joins Bellator, he will at least have a number of great welterweights to fight against. Bealltor’s 170 pound division is one of its strongest, and there are a number of intriguing matchups for the Canadian including a bout with Andrey Koreshkov.

MacDonald begins entering only grappling tournaments

In late 2014, Rory MacDonald decided to test his grappling by entering into a Metamoris match against Jonathan “JT” Torres. Despite most online gambling sites in the US picking him as the underdog, MacDonald had a good showing, almost catching Torres in a few submissions and narrowly avoiding tapping to a nasty arm-lock.

MacDonald Grappling

Rory MacDonald could transition to grappling-only events (photo: enlapalea.com)

With the amount of head trauma that MacDonald has taken in his past couple of fights, it would not be a major surprise to see him begin entering into Jiu-Jitsu only competitions. These days, grapplers can make great money in tournaments, and the avoidance of any further head trauma could be what attracts the Canadian fighter into grappling-only tournaments.

MacDonald Retires to a Small Cabin in the Woods

Rory has said on Joe Rogan’s podcast that he plans to move back into the Canadian countryside after he retires. If that decision is made soon, it would not be a big surprise to see him buy a small Canadian cabin and spend his days hunting small animals.

All kidding aside, it is not outside the realm of possibility to imagine Rory MacDonald retiring after his loss to Thompson this past weekend. There is no doubt he is one of the best fighters on the planet, but he has taken a tremendous amount of punishment over his past several fights, and with a child on the way, may decide he wants to save his brain cells and move on to something else.

MacDonald's face

MacDonald has been in a number of wars inside the UFC (photo: mmajunkie.com)

All of these scenarios are possible, but it seems most likely that MacDonald will re-sign with the UFC. He still has plenty of fight left in him, and could be back in a UFC title fight within a couple of fights.

What do you think? Will MacDonald retire? Sign with Bellator? Leave your comments below!

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