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Watch > Episode > Rory MacDonald - The Red King's Journey Through The MMA Realm And Beyond

Rory MacDonald - The Red King's Journey Through The MMA Realm And Beyond


Canadian Rory Joseph MacDonald, known as “The Red King,” has carved an illustrious path in the world of mixed martial arts. Hailing from Quesnel, British Columbia, MacDonald’s journey from a young martial artist to a seasoned veteran has been marked by skill, resilience, and a relentless pursuit of excellence. In this episode, Rory visits London Real’s studios to chat about his upcoming first London fight with Paul “Semtex” Daley, the impact that leaving the UFC had on him, and of course, the benefits of joining Bellator.

Growing up in a family that valued martial arts, Rory MacDonald began his training at an early age. Introduced to karate and Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu by his father, David MacDonald, Rory’s passion for combat sports ignited. Under the guidance of his father, who also served as his coach, MacDonald laid the foundation for a promising martial arts journey.

Rory MacDonald’s talent quickly became evident as he transitioned to mixed martial arts. Competing in the local circuits, MacDonald showcased a well-rounded skill set that included striking, grappling, and a strong wrestling base. His early success in promotions like King of the Cage and the Extreme Cage Combat laid the groundwork for what would become a stellar professional career.

In 2010, Rory MacDonald entered the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), considered the premier organisation in MMA. At just 20 years old, MacDonald made a memorable debut, defeating Mike Guymon at UFC Fight Night 20. This victory marked the beginning of MacDonald’s journey on the grand stage of the UFC, where he would face some of the toughest competitors in the welterweight division.

MacDonald’s association with the renowned Tristar Gym in Montreal, Canada, under the tutelage of Firas Zahabi, played a pivotal role in his development as a fighter. Training alongside elite fighters such as Georges St-Pierre, MacDonald honed his skills and refined his approach to the sport. The Tristar Gym became the crucible where MacDonald’s technical prowess and strategic acumen flourished.

Rory MacDonald’s journey in the UFC was marked by a series of epic battles that showcased his tenacity and skill. Notable among these was his clash with Robbie Lawler at UFC 167 in 2013, a bout that is widely regarded as one of the greatest welterweight fights in MMA history. MacDonald’s resilience and striking prowess earned him admiration, even in defeat.

In 2014, MacDonald earned his shot at the welterweight title. Facing Robbie Lawler once again at UFC 189, MacDonald put on a spectacular performance in a closely contested bout. Despite the loss, MacDonald’s stock rose, and his reputation as one of the division’s elite fighters was solidified.

After an impactful run in the UFC, Rory MacDonald joined Bellator MMA in 2016. The move marked a new chapter in his career, and MacDonald has wasted no time in making an impact.

Beyond his fighting prowess, Rory MacDonald is known for his philosophical approach to the sport. In interviews and social media posts, MacDonald often shares insights into his mindset, training philosophies, and the mental aspects of being a professional fighter. His introspective nature adds a unique dimension to his persona within the MMA community.

Rory MacDonald’s journey through the world of mixed martial arts is a testament to his skill, resilience, and unwavering determination. From a young martial artist in British Columbia to a decorated veteran and champion in Bellator MMA, MacDonald’s impact on the sport extends beyond the confines of the cage. As “The Red King” continues to evolve in his career, his legacy remains firmly etched in the annals of MMA history.


00:00 | Trailer
01:44 Brian’s thoughts on the episode
04:12 Brian’s introduction
04:36 Forthcoming first London fight with Paul Daley
08:09 I don’t have a fight plan, I like to go with the flow
09:47 Learning technique is the most important thing
10:26 Training in MMA from the beginning
16:22 The ups and downs of the past year for Rory
22:07 Leaving the UFC
25:58 The benefits of joining Bellator
26:55 Dealing with enforced break following last lost fight
28:06 Doesn’t do much pre-fight analysis of opponent
29:30 What Rory does in fight week and on fight night
32:04 Moving to Montreal to train at Tri-Star with Georges St-Pierre
39:53 Rory’s media tour with Conor McGregor
41:06 Keeping true to his own image, not emulating Conor McGregor47:17 What an adrenalin dump feels like
49:10 You get to know who you are in the cage
50:53 Why Rory continues to fight despite the injuries
53:13 How Rory finds fatherhood
57:41 Why Rory loves hunting
1:01:20 Rory’s diet
1:02:32 Rory’s surprising interest
1:03:37 Plans for the next year
1:05:20 Head trauma issues
1:06:52 Steroid use in the sport
1:08:32 Success secrets
1:09:07 Phone call to the 20 year old Rory MacDonald
1:10:55 Best advice ever received
1:12:03 Advice to the young person who wants to be a fighter
1:14:57 Brian’s summing up.


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