Mac­Don­ald ready to rum­ble in his Bel­la­tor de­but

Cape Breton Post - - Sports - BY NEIL DAVID­SON

Cana­dian Rory Mac­Don­ald, a former UFC wel­ter­weight con­tender, isn’t think­ing about ti­tles as he makes his Bel­la­tor de­but.

“Hon­estly I’m not too wor­ried about be­ing champ. I’m just there to take out who­ever’s in front of me,” said Mac­Don­ald, a na­tive of Kelowna, B.C., who fights out of Mon­treal. “Ob­vi­ously it would be nice to fight for the ti­tle but I’m not re­ally putting a lot of pres­sure on that.

“I just want to go out there and wreck peo­ple the way I know I can.”

Mac­Don­ald (18-4-0) kicks off his plan to wreak havoc in the Bel­la­tor ranks tonight when he takes on brash Brit Paul (Sem­tex) Da­ley (39-14-2) at Lon­don’s SSE Arena, for­merly known as Wem­b­ley Arena.

Watch­ing will be Bel­la­tor cham­pion Dou­glas Lima (286-0), who de­ci­sioned Da­ley last

July in be­tween los­ing the 170pound ti­tle and win­ning it back from Rus­sian An­drey Kore­shkov.

Mac­Don­ald, 27, signed with Bel­la­tor last Au­gust af­ter his UFC con­tract ex­pired. His last fight in the UFC was a June 2016

loss to cur­rent No. 2 con­tender Stephen (Won­der­boy) Thomp­son.

Da­ley’s last op­po­nent — Bren­nan Ward — was stretchered out of the cage in Jan­uary af­ter hav­ing his face carved open by a vi­cious fly­ing knee at Bel­la­tor 170.

Mac­Don­ald started in mixed mar­tial arts at 14, mak­ing his pro de­but two years later with his par­ents hav­ing to give their ap­proval. Even then only a few ath­letic com­mis­sions would sanc­tion the young­ster.

He won the King of the Cage Cana­dian light­weight ti­tle at 18 — in his sixth fight — and the King of the Cage world 155pound ti­tle in his next out­ing a year later. He was 20 when he made his UFC de­but, dis­patch­ing vet­eran Mike (The Joker) Guy­mon in four min­utes 27 sec­onds.

“Watch that name. He’s go­ing to go far,” said then-wel­ter­weight cham­pion Ge­orges StPierre, who shares the same Mon­treal gym.

The stone-faced Mac­Don­ald went on to win nine of 13 UFC fights. Two of the losses were at the hands of (Ruth­less) Rob­bie Lawler, in­clud­ing a July 2015 ti­tle chal­lenge that lasted a bloody 21 min­utes.

CP PHOTO

Rory Mac­Don­ald takes part in an open work­out at the Aberdeen Pav­il­ion in June 2016 in Ot­tawa.

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