Whilst a guest on The MMA Hour last month, Rory MacDonald revealed that his bloody and brutal battle with UFC welterweight champion Robbie Lawler in July of 2015 had been a catalyst for change in the way that he viewed the sport.
“The experience itself – the fight was great,” MacDonald told Ariel Helwani. “It was a great thing for my martial arts career. But a performance like that, and everything I did leading up to that in my UFC career, I feel I should be a little bit more financially stable…..I just have to fight for what is right on the business side now”.
“After a hard fight like that, it just opened my eyes to it. Like, okay now it’s time to get a bit more business savvy,”.
These words provided some context for the 26-year-old’s assertion earlier in the show that he planned on testing the waters of free-agency after his fight with Stephen Thompson, which is set to take place on June 18th at UFC Fight Night 89.
Considering his current contractual situation and altered perspective, it’s hardly surprising that MacDonald expressed admiration for his promotional peer Conor McGregor during a recent interview with The Fight Network.
After all, nobody in the UFC is more business-minded, confident in their own value or willing to confront the promotion’s power-players than “The Notorious” Irishman – something that has been vividly illustrated by the events of the last couple of weeks.
Speaking to John Pollock about his financial goals and negotiating position, MacDonald didn’t quite come across as McGregor-esque but he indicated that he had taken inspiration from the SBG product’s tough approach to business.
He added that other fighters should do the same.
“I’m a simple martial arts guy,” began the Canadian star. “I come from humble beginnings so I don’t require a lot to feel comfortable. But now that I have a little girl on the way, I want to be able to provide everything she’s gonna need in her life. So that’s a big motivator to start getting paid for this because it doesn’t last forever”.
“I want big money fights because first and foremost I think I’m worth it. I think I bring a lot to the table, I think I bring a lot of viewers. I think I’m the guy in the Canadian market right now, and I think that is a huge factor that is forgotten in some negotiations, but you know, we’re gonna see how it plays out”.
“I look up to [Conor McGregor] in that sense. There’s a lot to be learned from his stance and sticking up for himself. Getting what he’s worth…Not just accepting what’s thrown at you. Standing up for yourself. That’s the thing martial artists aren’t used to. You’ve got to really stick up for yourself and be a tough businessman when it’s time for negotiations”.