The mixed martial arts octagon is not for the faint of heart.
Rory Macdonald proved that much during his five-round battle to win the Bellator Welterweight Championship belt over the weekend.
UPDATE on my leg- not broken, just big hematoma. it hurts but it will fade— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) January 21, 2018
En route to his victory, Macdonald suffered a violent hematoma bruise on his right shin after receiving a barrage of shin kicks.
New Bellator welterweight champ @Rory_MacDonald had to fight through a nasty leg injury to dethrone Douglas Lima at #Bellator192 🤕— MMAjunkie (@MMAjunkie) January 21, 2018
📸 Dave Mandel – @usatsimg
Full story: https://t.co/QTm1T5pKIS pic.twitter.com/lqHQ54wDvo
“My mind was telling me to break a couple times but I stayed strong and pushed through,” said Macdonald in an interview with KelownaNow. “I had to switch to southpaw to avoid more kicks, force the grappling and get the fight to the ground.”
While in control of the fight for the first four rounds, Macdonald had trouble with his balance and standing in general during the fifth and final round.
It was a great experience last night! battling the entire fight with a bad leg injury. looking back I'd loved to have done some things differently early on. In the end this is how it worked out, and unfortunately it was not my best performance. I do believe it was the fight I pushed myself mentally to keep moving forward more than any other. I believe that is a priceless experience as a martial artist to learn how to break down mental barricades and keep fighting for the win. #monsterenergy #Dash #RK @monsterenergy @everlast photo credit: @courtneyhendo_
“This was the most pain I have been in during a fight. I had to go inside my mind and pray to god to give me the strength and keep pushing,” explained Macdonald. “But it’s a dream come true to win the Welterweight championship.”
The dream almost came true in 2015 when Macdonald entered the fifth round of a UFC Welterweight Championship with a chance to win before having his nose shattered by a right hook. The fight has since gone down as one of the best in the history of the UFC.
The 28-year-old's journey to become a championship fighter began in Kelowna when he was a teenager training at Toshido MMA, where he still splits training time to this day.
Rory MacDonald is in full camp mode with Matt Dwyer over the next 6 weeks at Toshido MMA. Rory fights for the Bellator World Welterweight Title January 20th in Los Angeles and Matt is fighting for the BFL Middleweight Title on January 13th! No rest this Christmas! #toshidomma #kelowna #nogi #bjj #jiujitsu #mma #coachdavidlea #ufc #bellator #muaythai #kickboxing #wrestling #freeweektrial #rorymacdonald #redking #mattdwyer
“I grew up in Kelowna as a teenager, I went to Dr. Knox and OKM, where I graduated high school,” reminisced MacDonald. “Those were really formidable years for my career and led to me moving to Montreal.”
The fighter, who now splits training time between Kelowna's Toshido MMA and Montreal's Tri-Star Gym, saw two of his passions collide this year when he secured a sponsorship from cryptocurrency company Dash ahead of his championship fight.
BIG NEWS - Top MMA Fighter Rory MacDonald Sponsored by @Dashpay— Mark Mason (@StayDashy) January 20, 2018
Bellator 192 Welterweight World Title Fight 🥊📺🏆 (Sat Jan 20)#Dash #Bellator192 #MMA #Crypto #FinTech #BJJ #Cryptocurrencyhttps://t.co/VUeFtkuUyL pic.twitter.com/m7224H018F
“I've been involved in cryptocurrency since 2014 and have become really passionate about learning what it means for the world and watching it grow in popularity,” said Macdonald. “The UFC doesn’t allow sponsors whereas Bellator does, so being able to secure a crypto sponsor like Dash means a lot to me and other fighters because it opens up new financial opportunities to athletes like myself.”
For now, Macdonald is focused on recovering from his post-fight injuries and spending time with his family.
Click here to stay up to date with MMA fighter Rory Macdonald via his Instagram account.