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23rd May 2017

Rory MacDonald certainly can’t complain about his Bellator pay as earnings are revealed

It pays to be a Bellator star

Ben Kiely

Rory MacDonald must be absolutely loving life fighting under the Bellator banner.

Benson Henderson was the first marquee one, Chael Sonnen was perhaps the most high profile, but the Bellator signing from the UFC that proved they were ready to compete with their main rivals was undoubtedly Rory MacDonald.

The one-time UFC welterweight title challenger made his debut for Scott Coker’s promotion in Bellator 179’s main event last weekend. which marked his first fight in nearly a year. However, he showed no signs of ring rust as he completely dominated veteran Paul Daley in London’s SSE Arena, submitting the knockout monster with relative ease in the second round.

The payouts for the event have not been released, although Tristar gym teammate Kajan Johnson revealed how much the ‘Red King’ banked for the fight on Monday’s MMA Hour, and it marks one hell of a change from his previous employer.

“Rory MacDonald isn’t on that kind of hustle that I am. And also, he’s making $400,000 from Bellator. Why would he have to go and chase sponsorship?”

$400,000 is an astoundingly high return from a solitary night’s work especially when you look at his highest disclosed payouts from his UFC career. That’s not even including sponsorship revenue, although he admitted that he deliberately took a hit in that area to pursue more lucrative long-term deals for future fights.

One might think his highest ever payday would be the one that Dana White described as the ‘best fight of… ever’ against Robbie Lawler at UFC 189. This may be the case when you take into account locker room bonuses, but the disclosed payout of that title fight loss was only $139,000 ($59,000 to show, $50,000 Fight of the Night bonus, $30,000 Reebok sponsorship).

MacDonald’s highest disclosed payout was his $162,000 knockout victory over Tarec Saffiedine, followed closely by his unanimous decision win over grappling master Demian Maia which banked him a cool $150,000. For his UFC swansong, the title eliminator loss to Stephen ‘Wonderboy’ Thompson, MacDonald earned just $69,000 ($59,000 to show, $10,000 Reebok sponsorship).