Rory MacDonald finally has his Bellator MMA debut set, and it’s a promising one. Despite talk of Paul Daley facing fellow Brit Michael “Venom” Page in London, Daley has been paired up with MacDonald to welcome the former UFC title challenger to Bellator. The fight will take place in May at Bellator 179, the promotion announced Thursday.
MacDonald (18–4) is considered one of the best welterweights in the business, and ran up a 9-4 tally in the UFC prior to his departure for Bellator MMA. He holds notable wins over Nate Diaz, B.J. Penn, Jake Ellenberger, Demian Maia, and Tyron Woodley, who would go on to knock out Robbie Lawler for the 170lb title. MacDonald also put on a Fight of the Year with Lawler in 2015 in a failed challenge for the belt.
Daley (39–14–2), a longtime vet of the UFC, Strikeforce, Bellator, and many other promotions, is coming off a huge flying knee victory over Brennan Ward. Despite the talk of him facing Page, he called out MacDonald after that win – and now, he has his wish.
Though Bellator has not confirmed it, it seems obvious that the winner of Daley vs. MacDonald will be next in line for a title shot in the promotion.
Bellator 179 takes place May 19 in London at the SSE Arena.