Once MacDonald’s contract ends at the conclusion of his next fight he will join Bellator. He is the most notable fighter to switch promotions in a young career.
MacDonald was the most prominent fighter to endorse McGregor’s decision to retire and then come out of retirement in order to gain leverage over the UFC.
Rory MacDonald is implying that promoters need fighters more than fighters need promoters. Today, and specifically the UFC, promoters pay the overhead for promotion throughout the year, assume more financial risk, and do a lot of other management for things to run smoothly. Fighters also make a small amount of money to start off with before becoming a PPV attraction. It’s a thin line between making even a modest amount of money and making at least $100,000 for a fight.
With today’s media technology distribution is free. Social media allows athletes to control and curate their brand value and they can connect directly with fans. The part where a promoter actually markets a fighter has diminished as expectations have shifted towards the fighter promoting himself. In the long term, an athlete needs to create his/her own following to begin with in order to diversify revenue streams. That being said, I do believe that in a vacuum the athlete is needed more by the sports entity than the athlete needs said sports entity.