When Paul Daley knocked out Brennan Ward at Bellator 170 in January, he immediately called for a fight with former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald. On Thursday, Daley’s wish was officially granted, as Bellator MMA announced in a special press conference that “Semtex” vs. MacDonald will headline the promotion’s return to London, England on Friday, May 19th.
Daley (39-14-2) headlined Bellator’s first London event last July, but lost a unanimous decision to Douglas Lima. That fight is Daley’s only defeat out of six under the Bellator banner, and his subsequent flying knee finish of Ward will likely hold up as one of MMA’s best knockouts of 2017.
MacDonald (18-4) signed with Bellator MMA as a free agent. The 27-year-old Canadian had suffered an agonizing 5th round TKO loss vs. Robbie Lawler for the UFC welterweight title, then completed his contract with a main event unanimous decision loss to Stephen Thompson. MacDonald had initially targeted a return in the summer, as he wanted time off to let his broken nose fully heal itself, but instead he’s making his Bellator debut sooner than expected.
You can watch video of the press conference at the top of the page, courtesy of WHOA TV’s Mike Morgan.
Bellator 179 airs on Spike TV on tape delay — I know, tape delay sucks — at 9 PM ET/8 PM CT. The card will take place at The SSE Arena, with tickets on sale starting March 3rd. No other fights have been announced as of this writing.