Rory MacDonald, mixed martial artist and Kelowna fighting royalty, is set to defend his title.
The current Bellator welterweight world champion will enter the octagon in San Jose on April 27 to take on American Jon Fitch, which also kicks off the first round of the Bellator welterweight grand prix.
Probably best known for his five-round, toe-to-toe, vicious Ultimate Fighting Championship 189 fight against Robbie Lawler in 2015, MacDonald is humbled to trace his roots back to Kelowna.
“It can be a bit of a mind boggle how fast things have flown by,” said MacDonald, who started his fighting at the age of 14 at Kelowna’s Toshido gym.
“I started with my coach, I fell in love (with the sport), and the rest is history. Being a scrawny teen with a passion turned into a wonderful life.”
MacDonald’s MMA career got started in 2005, and has since accumulated a 20-5 record.
His nickname, The Red King, hails from old Scottish folklore where the name ‘Rory’ roughly translates to red king.
After a 9-0 pro record to start, the nickname stuck.
With this being his 26th career fight, fans in Kelowna and across Canada can catch The Red King in action, defending his title on DAZN, a subscription video streaming service. The fight time is yet to be announced.
MacDonald’s motivation before a fight, even a highly televised title fight, starts with his love of his family and faith.
“I’m a family man, I just have an odd job that’s on TV I think I have a pretty low-key life,” said MacDonald.
“I feel very blessed, and I thank God that I get to do what I love.”
After almost 15 years, MacDonald’s hard work in the MMA community continues to pay off.
“This was always my goal, I knew I was capable. I didn’t have a whole lot of believers, but I believed in myself and I worked hard, and I just focus on getting the job done,” he said.
“It’s been a fun ride.”
The ride has been made even better with the support of his family, said MacDonald.
He said his wife Olivia, currently expecting their second child, a son, and daughter Maia are always in his corner.
“The only thing that’s difficult is being away from home. I have them to always be with, and they’re my motivation. (Olivia) thought (my career) was kind of crazy at first, but she’s a big part of my success and she makes sure I’m at my best.”
While MacDonald trains and focuses on the task ahead, he knows that the MMA chapter in his life is eventually going to end, but much like his confidence in himself, he has faith.
“I’m going to do my very best in the field I’m in right now, and wait for God to direct me onto the next chapter.”
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