Last week, Rory MacDonald officially signed with Bellator MMA marking another major MMA free agent picked up by Scott Coker. And MacDonald isn't the only one who is happy about the signing. MacDonald's friend and training partner, former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, also gave the move his seal of approval when speaking to Uproxx recently.
"Oh, I am very happy for Rory. I think it's a great move for him. He chose the best option for himself and his family. I wish him the best. We're going to train together still. I'm very happy for him. He found a new home to make more money and, if the conditions of work are better, I'm happy. I'm all for that."
St-Pierre and MacDonald have been longtime training partners at Tri-Star Gym and when St-Pierre stepped away from MMA in 2013, many tapped MacDonald to pick up that mantle and ascend to welterweight dominance. MacDonald never quite fulfilled those hopes, coming up just short in his one UFC title shot against Robbie Lawler at UFC 189. Now he has a new opportunity to pursue gold and one that won't conflict with his teammate's rumored return to the octagon.
St-Pierre of course, ended speculation about a comeback recently by confirming that he was indeed set on returning to competition soon and entering himself into the USADA testing pool so he can do so without seeking a specialty exemption. Though no fight has been announced, St-Pierre and welterweight champion Tyron Woodley have both expressed interest in a title fight, possibly at UFC 206 on December 10 in Toronto. However, St-Pierre doesn't know if the UFC even wants to make the fight.
"What happened is that, he texted me and I don't know him very well, but he texted me and he explained that he challenged me and he wanted to do it because he wanted to fight the best. He didn't want me to take anything as disrespect, and I didn't take it as disrespect. He's a competitor and I said, 'If you want to do it, let's do it. I'm ready to fight you.' But it's not my decision, the UFC is a business and the way it works, because UFC is a business, they have to choose what's best for them."
Of course, the UFC may not want to make the match because they are skeptical of the seriousness of St-Pierre's interest in returning, with UFC President Dana White saying he will "believe it when I see it." St-Pierre maintains that he wants to return but he is not sure what will happen. Many have speculated that the non-committal nature of both parties revolves around several hang-ups in negotiations, chief among them, the UFC's Reebok deal which would cost St-Pierre some of his sponsors. Considering that, and MacDonald's signing with Bellator at least in part due to their lack of uniforms, some may wonder of St-Pierre's kind words for MacDonald's signing could portend his own big move. However, St-Pierre's return seems primarily focused on building on his already unassailable legacy.
"It's not an issue with fighting, I'm 35 years old. I want to choose the best fight, the most exciting fight and the fight that elevates me that will make people remember me forever. The guys I need to fight for that, I need to take into consideration...Yeah, I had the belt for a long time, but it doesn't matter if it's for the belt or not. I want a fight that's going to elevate myself."
While it might be fun to envision a St-Pierre vs. Ben Askren fight in ONE FC, if St-Pierre is truly only considering a comeback to be "remembered forever," it seems a foregone conclusion that St-Pierre's return will be in the octagon. The UFC is the only place that can provide St-Pierre the legacy cementing fights he seeks. Now it's just a matter of if it will happen.
"We want it to happen, we'll see what happens and we'll see what's the best that can happen for the UFC, or me fighting Tyron or another guy. But I'm not even sure if I can come back yet, so it's a lot of things."
Didn't see that coming. Rory MacDonald slammed the UFC for being "boring" during his Bellator introduction.
Do not go gentle into that good night. Carlos Condit is undecided about his MMA future after losing to Demian Maia.
Move the needle. Stephen Thompson calls Tyron Woodley "ridiculous" for calling for money fights.
Subtle. Paige VanZant calls her jumping switch kick KO, "kick the can."
Wrong. Cody Garbrandt says Bryan Caraway "isn't a fighter."
EXTRA CREDIT READING
Goodbye. Chuck Mindenhall is really good at words and he used that talent to talk about Carlos Condit hanging up the gloves for good.
This is fun. Demian Maia joins for the Gracie breakdown of his awesome victory.
I thought we learned our lesson about Jones driving? Now you're giving him a tank?!
The training montage music was awesome.
Roberto Guerrero on Team Diaz.
Sooooo, they can't call you what they want then?
These two should just fight each other forever.
Always an honor. There aren't many fighters I'd guide my kids to have as role models, you're at the top of the listhttps://t.co/Xfv5v20WOX— Jim Miller (@JimMiller_155) August 28, 2016
Maia deserves title shot 100%— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) August 28, 2016
Boy howdy that's a fight I'd like to watch.
Don't believe the hype— Jerome-Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) August 28, 2016
Would watch. I'd rather Cerrone vs. Condit or Means though. Or Matt Brown.
It's the new movement coaching.
Well, seems I'm joining DWTS for my next camp. #UFCVancouver— The Spartan (@EliasTheodorou) August 28, 2016
Sending my lads for dance lessons— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) August 28, 2016
Look at the flow.
@danawhite I want nothing in return. I've help you legalized MMA in NY. For one fight any where. I'll do it for free. What says you?— Matt Hamill (@Hammerufc) August 27, 2016
Sure. Why not?
Julia Jones (4-0-0) vs. Stephanie Skinner (4-5-0); Invicta FC 19, September 23.
Amy Coleman (2-0-0) vs. Amber Leibrock (1-1-0); Invicta FC 19, September 23.
Sunna Davidsdottir (0-0-0) vs. Ashley Greenway (1-0-0); Invicta FC 19, September 23.
Michael Page (11-0-0) vs. Fernando Gonzales (25-13-0); Bellator 163, November 19.
TODAY IN MMA HISTORY
2009: Fans finally got a battle they had long been thinking about when Former Pride heavyweight champion took on former 3 time UFC heavyweight champion Randy Couture in the main event of UFC 102, with Noguiera winning a decision. This event also saw soon to be welterweight title challenger Demian Maia get knocked out in devastating fashion by Nate Marquardt.
2014: Ben Askren won the ONE FC welterweight championship, stopping Nobutatsu Suzuki with punches in the first round at ONE FC: Reign of Champions. That event also saw Shinya Aoki successfully defend his lightweight title with a rear-naked choke over Kamal Shalorus.
Demian Maia did the damn thing and didn't even break a sweat doing it. I've been leading the charge that Carlos Condit was the best welterweight in the world for years and Saturday I got proven dead wrong. Super impressive from Maia. He deserves a title shot.
And if that's the last we see of Condit, I can't be mad. He gave us too many good memories. But I do hope he comes back for one more fight against Matt Brown. I'm honestly not sure I've ever wanted to see an MMA fight more than that one. Go out with a bang, NBK.
And just like that, another fight week is upon us. Hope y'all enjoyed the weekend and that your Mondays are as good as Mondays can be. Until tomorrow, M.Rmy.
If you find something you'd like to see in the Morning Report, just hit me up on Twitter @JedKMeshew and let me know about it. Also follow MMAFighting on Instagram and add us on Snapchat at MMA-Fighting because we post dope things and you should enjoy them.