Rory MacDonald Confirms He’s Not Retiring in Announcement For Bellator 222
By FCF Staff
In a press release from Bellator announcing details for its June 14th card, Rory MacDonald has confirmed he’s not retiring from MMA.
MacDonald made headlines this past weekend due to comments he made after he fought Jon Fitch to a draw, in which he cited his faith and questioned whether he has the desire to keep fighting. In a press release announcing MacDonald will take on Neiman Gracie at Bellator 222, however, the welterweight champ said this:
“I want to take the time to thank everybody who had the chance to see my fight last weekend and share that candid moment I had in the Bellator cage with John McCarthy.
“I felt an internal struggle during the fight I never experienced before. I have always enjoyed my time in the cage by expressing my techniques in full out combat against another top-level fighter, but this time I wasn’t enjoying it. It felt more like a job than the satisfaction I am used to feeling by being dominant and applying what I have practiced to defeat someone.”
“Even during my dominant moments, I felt I was completing a task and these feelings were a bit confusing to me because it’s new. I used to fight with anger I held within myself from pain I had experienced in my past. To be honest, I believe this comes from my heart changing as I’m walking a new life as a Christian. The Lord has given me peace and freedom from the pain that haunted me in my heart from my younger years. I would only satisfy myself for a short period of time from winning fights until the feeling would resonate in me again. So, now I don’t feel the same emotions I have in the past while competing.
“I still and will always have a passion for martial arts and do not believe, as a Christian, that it’s wrong for myself to compete in a professional sport that is violent. In fact, I’m happy to testify about being a Christian on this platform I’ve been given.
“To be clear, I am not retiring from my professional MMA career, I’ve always been true and honest in the sport and I spoke from the heart.
“As for my career at the moment. I am going to move forward in this tournament and compete boldly against Neiman Gracie in New York at MSG on June 14.
“Thank you for your support and all the kind messages I’ve received after this sentimental moment I had for all to see after 14 years of being in this sport.”
MacDonald’s fight with Gracie will be a semifinal bout in Bellator’s ongoing welterweight grand prix. Here is the line-up so far for Bellator 222, which will take place in New York City.
Updated Bellator 222: Machida vs. Sonnen Fight Card:
Light Heavyweight Main Event Bout: Lyoto Machida (25-8) vs. Chael Sonnen (31-16-1)
Welterweight World Grand Prix Semifinal Title Bout: Rory MacDonald (20-5-1) vs. Neiman Gracie (9-0)
Bantamweight World Title Bout: Darrion Caldwell (13-2) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2)
175-Pound Catchweight Bout: Dillon Danis (1-0) vs. Max Humphrey (3-2)
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Heather Hardy (2-1) vs. TBD
Flyweight Bout: Brandon Polcare (1-2) vs. Brandon Medina (Pro Debut)