If Rory MacDonald had indeed left Montreal’s famed TriStar gym, it would have probably come as a shock to gym leader Firas Zahabi.
Zahabi, after all, is with MacDonald in London this week, and will corner the welterweight star when he makes his Bellator MMA debut on Friday night against Paul Daley in the main event of Bellator 179 in London.
“Firas is in my corner, and we’re actually going to go train in the room right after this call,” MacDonald told The MMA Hour on Monday from his London hotel.
Rumors that MacDonald had left the Montreal gym, best known as the home of former longtime welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre, after news surfaced that MacDonald has been training at the gym where he started his career, Toshido MMA in Kelowna, British Columbia.
From there sprang erroneous reports that MacDonald was officially done with TriStar. But MacDonald said he’s likely to split time between the two gyms, and even spent time at TriStar training for the Daley fight.
“I think people just, when you say something in an interview, they really like to make it their own story rather than, you know they like to spin it off, almost,” MacDonald said. “So, to clear the air, I went back to where I originally started training martial arts at the beginning of my career for a big portion of my training camp this time. I guess they spun it they way they wanted to and make it look like I had bad blood with TriStar, but I still, I spent a good three weeks in TriStar for this training camp as well.”
MacDonald, who currently calls Montreal home, envisions himself splitting his time between his current place of residence and the place where he grows up for the foreseeable future.
“I’m pretty sure,” MacDonald said about splitting his time. “I go with the flow but this training camp went excellent. I’m happy with it. I feel like I’m going to go out there and really show myself to the fans and just be myself out there and have a fun time in the cage... I think everybody will appreciate that.“