20 May 2017 | 9:54 pm
MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) had his way with Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) on the feet and the ground before locking up a second-round submission to make his first appearance under the Bellator banner a successful one. Prior to the fight “Semtex” questioned MacDonald’s “warrior mentality” in the cage and believed that weakness led to some of his more defining losses.
Whether Daley truly meant that sentiment is something only he knows, but regardless, MacDonald said the outcome left no doubt.
“I finished him,” MacDonald said following his win. “He’s the one that tapped out, so I guess, who’s the quitter now, right? This is mixed martial arts. When I see an opening I’m going to strike, whether it’s standing or on the ground. I kicked him in the head, I beat him up standing, I took him down, I beat him up there, and I choked him out. There’s really no area that I played it safe. I moved forward, I hunted him down, and I took him out.”
MacDonald’s triumphant effort, which headlined the Spike-televised event at The SSE Arena in London, marked his first victory since October 2014. He suffered back-to-back losses against former UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson before entering the free-agent market, which ultimately resulted in “The Red King” signing with Bellator.
The Canadian admitted it was a relief to finally get back on the winning track after experiencing several years of losses, injuries and long layoffs. With all the pieces now back in place, though, he said the best is still yet to come.
“I think I’m the best in the world, and I think I made a statement tonight,” MacDonald said. “(Bellator welterweight champion Douglas) Lima had a pretty hard fight with Daley. I went out there, and I smoked him in every discipline. It was a message that I’m on another level, and these guys are going to have a lot of pain to deal with if they get in the cage with me.
“I’m going to destroy when I get in the cage. I’m not there to play games or pick my shots or win (on) points. I had a couple fights like that, but I’ve always had regrets leaving those fights. When I walk into those doors now I’m going to destroy you, and that’s it.”
With the debut victory under his belt, MacDonald is on deck to face the winner of June’s “Bellator: NYC” welterweight title fight between champ Douglas Lima (28-6 MMA, 10-2 BMMA) and challenger Lorenz Larkin (18-5 MMA, 0-0 BMMA). MacDonald said he feels he’s on a different level from both competitors. And while he predicts a good fight, he has no preference when it comes to a winner.
“It’s a hard fight to call,” MacDonald said. “Those guys are closely matched. Larkin is an extremely good kick boxer, and he’s tough and very athletic. He’s not easy to keep on his back. Lima is a big guy, powerful and very disciplined. Whoever is on that night should take it.”