Note: This is a piece I wrote for DiMoroSports about the upcoming bout between Paul Daley and Rory MacDonald.
After his impressive first-round knockout over Brennan Ward at Bellator 170, former title contender Paul “Semtex” Daley challenged UFC veteran-turned Bellator signee Rory MacDonald to a fight.
It looks like Daley got his wish.
In a news release, the promotion announced that Daley will face MacDonald in the Bellator 179 main event, scheduled for May 19 in Semtex’s home country of England. The last time Daley fought in the U.K. was back in July of last year when he dropped a decision to former welterweight champion Douglas Lima, who recaptured the 170-pound title in November from Andrey Koreshkov. This is going to be a new environment for MacDonald, who has never fought outside of North America in his professional career.
Besides competing in the U.K. for the first time, Bellator 179 marks MacDonald’s debut for the promotion. “The Red King” is coming off a 9-4 UFC run that includes wins over Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia, B.J. Penn and Nate Diaz. Though MacDonald’s big performance came in his 2015 welterweight title bout against Robbie Lawler – a “Fight of the Year” performance from both guys.
After MacDonald left the UFC last year, he signed with Bellator, setting his sights on both the welterweight and middleweight championships. I’m a little surprised that Bellator didn’t give him a title shot for his first fight – ala Benson Henderson, who challenged then-170-pound king Koreshkov in his Bellator debut.
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