Speaking at Wednesday’s open workouts for the event, MacDonald revealed that he was disappointed that his world welterweight title showdown with champion Douglas Lima wasn’t given the main event slot.
“I’m disappointed,” said MacDonald. “What can I say? Every time you fight for a world championship fighters take pride… it’s a special moment to be a main event for a world title fight. It’s an unfortunate part of it, but I’m not going to let it take my focus away from what my job is and getting that title.”
MacDonald claimed that he found out about the main event snub through an interview, rather than from Bellator staff.
“It was totally out of the blue. I didn’t see it coming. I found out through an interview. I didn’t even find out from anyone from Bellator or anything like that so it was a total shocker,” said the challenger.
“I didn’t really know how to take it and why the decision was made, but after hearing why, it’s their business and it’s how they want to run things. My business is in the cage, so I’m focused on that.”
When asked if Sonnen and Jackson’s appointment to the main event pointed to MMA being more entertainment than sport, MacDonald insisted that the focus of events should be on the martial arts on display.
“I’m not sure why their decision is to put Chael and Rampage there or if that’s that, but I get what you’re saying,” he began.
“Newer fans are expecting drama and half the entertainment for them is the build-up, the drama between the guys and less so the martial arts aspect of it. I’m focused on the martial arts. I’m not a dramatic guy.
“And I get it, but the main focus should be on the martial arts and the way the fighters are going about it in the cage rather than so much outside.”
MacDonald was told that ratings were the driving force behind the decision.
“Ratings,” he replied when asked what explanation Bellator had given him.
“I think they don’t want people turning the channel if the fight before me is not good. That’s what I got.”
Rory MacDonald Bellator MMA 192 open workoutPosted by MMAFighting.com - The Mixed Martial Arts News Website on Wednesday, January 17, 2018