MacDonald not retiring, set to fight Gracie


Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald, who caused a buzz in the MMA community with postfight comments last Saturday, reiterated in a press release his intention to continue fighting. He will face on Neiman Gracie in the semifinals of Bellator’s Welterweight World Grand Prix on June 14 at Madison Square Garden in New York City.

“To be clear, I am not retiring from my professional MMA career,” MacDonald said. “I’ve always been true and honest in the sport and I spoke from the heart. 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 (20-5-1) advanced in the tournament after a majority draw against Jon Fitch allowed him to retain his belt. He spoke in the cage after the five-round decision, saying he did not “know if I have that same drive to hurt people anymore.”

“It’s hard to sometimes pull the trigger now,” MacDonald said on Saturday. “I don’t have that killer inside. It’s really hard to explain. But I hesitate a little bit now. It wasn’t my best performance.”

MacDonald, 29, has fought as a professional since he was 16 years old. He previously competed in the UFC where he was part of many memorable matchups, including against former champion Robbie Lawler. Their second fight, UFC 185 in 2015, was voted by ESPN readers as the greatest fight ever.

Gracie, a fourth-generation member of the lauded Brazilian jiu-jitsu family, has not lost in nine professional fights.

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