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Former UFC title contender Rory MacDonald moves to Bellator

It looks like another top tier UFC talent has decided to make the switch over to Bellator after his contract with the UFC ran out.

MMA: UFC 189-Mendes vs McGregor-Weigh Ins Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports

Is it a sign that Bellator has become a more powerful player than ever in the market for elite MMA talent? Or is it a sign that the UFC just isn’t that interested in being in the Rory MacDonald business anymore? The truth probably lies somewhere in-between, and on the UFC end most certainly wasn’t helped by MacDonald’s second straight loss to finish out his contract.

MacDonald most recently faced Stephen Thompson, back in June at UFC Fight Night Ottawa. MacDonald lost a fairly lackluster decision to “Wonderboy,” and re-broke his nose in the process. It was his first fight after a year on the sidelines, as MacDonald had been recovering from a badly broken nose in his losing welterweight title bid against then champion Robbie Lawler.

Following this recent setback, there was a lot of speculation as to just what MacDonald’s next move would be? Despite feelings that the UFC is still very much in need of a Canadian MMA star, MacDonald made it clear that he was dedicated to trying out free agency and it seems the UFC wasn’t all that concerned with keeping him around. Reportedly, the head office even encouraged him to go test the market.

Well the market has been tested, and it looks like Bellator came up with the winning bid. Flo Combat first reported the news that a deal between MacDonald and the Spike TV promotion had been finalized.

MMA Fighting did not quite confirm the reports, however, they did offer further information on the breakdown of negotiations between the UFC and MacDonald. According to their sources, the UFC informed MacDonald’s management on Tuesday that they were not able to match Bellator’s contract offer. That should make the whole thing more or less official.

Now the only question is, how long before we get Rory Mac vs. Michael Page?