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Rory MacDonald talks MMA business: 'There's a lot to be learned' from Conor McGregor

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With a jump to free agency upcoming, Rory MacDonald feels there's a lot to be learned from Conor McGregor's work with the UFC.

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In his current spat with the UFC brass, Conor McGregor hasn't found many vocal supporters among his fellow fighters. Other UFC 200 competitors seem to see him as skirting the work they're out there doing, and for the most part, if other Zuffa fighters have an opinon on the contract battle, they aren't making big public statements about it... well, except for one.

TriStar talent and former welterweight title contender Rory MacDonald seems to have placed himself firmly in Conor McGregor's corner, when it comes to the Irishman's stance of playing hardball with the UFC. The way MacDonald seems to see it, McGregor is showing something of a gameplan for maximizing his own value at a key point in his MMA career.

With the end of his contract forthcoming, MacDonald has been keen to test free agency and see what kind of value he can command on the open market. In a recent interview with the MMA Report on MacDonald spoke about McGregor's influence on his own current career decisions (transcript via MMAFighting):

"I think it's important to get it out there. It's a known topic about fighter pay now and I think it's beneficial to me that I get it out there too so when it comes time to negotiate I have other sources to talk with. It's a known thing, people are buzzing about it. It's a good thing."
"I'm a simple martial arts guy. I come from humble beginnings so I don't require a lot to feel comfortable. But now that I have a little girl on the way, I want to be able to provide everything she's gonna need in her life. So that's a big motivator to start getting paid for this because it doesn't last forever."
"I look up to [Conor McGregor] in that sense. There's a lot to be learned from his stance and sticking up for himself. Getting what he's worth...Not just accepting what's thrown at you. Standing up for yourself. That's the thing martial artists aren't used to. You've got to really stick up for yourself and be a tough businessman when it's time for negotiations."

Of course, the lesson that McGregor seems to best be delivering at the moment is, no matter how high your value, if you push back too hard, the UFC will always be willing to make an example out of you. MacDonald definitely has value. He's a good fighter and one of (if not the) most notable active MMA fighters out of Canada today. But, will that translate into the value he wants? And if it doesn't, will he take what the UFC offers, anyway?

Rory MacDonalds fights for the last time on his current UFC contract this June at UFC Ottawa against Stephen "Wonderboy" Thompson. After that, all bets are off.