Steven MacDonald is a shining star on the Canadian MMA scene and Bellator MMA has clearly taken notice. Bellator has recently signed the Cape Breton native to a multi-year and multi-fight contract.
The Toshido MMA product has so far captured the XFFC light-heavyweight championship and has a spotless record as a pro. MacDonald is 4-0 overall and was able to capture a significant regional belt in only his third pro fight and with an injured foot to boot.
Below are several excerpts from my conversation with Steven MacDonald.
When he found out about the Bellator signing and who relayed the news to him
“It was like two weeks ago. It was pretty crazy. I was screaming running around in my living room.”
“My coach David Lea. He’s the one that got me the shot. I had like a three-minute highlight reel made up of the four fights that I had. He sent it off to Bellator and they liked what they had seen.”
Training at Toshido MMA
“Yeah, well, the whole reason that I moved to Kelowna in the first place was to join to Toshido. One of the best things about the gym is everybody has their own specialties. We have one of my buddies Blake Sigvaldason there. He’s like, one of the main wrestling coaches at the gym. And then I run a lot of the striking classes there. Dave is just like the mastermind that brings everything together.”
Cape Breton love and the support he gets back home
“At home I have a ton of support in Cape Breton. One of the bars at home, my uncle is a bouncer there. They actually put the fight on for XFFC 21 (when he won the title). Put it right on at the bar and they charge like five bucks a head. They ended up giving me the cover charge for the fight. So that was pretty sweet. And then they did a couple of articles about me in the Cape Breton Post. I get a ton of support from back home.”
Scott Coker shouting out Steven MacDonald on social media
“Man, I’m super stoked. It’s crazy that he said that. I actually just had to join Twitter the other day. I never had Twitter and my first follower was Scott Coker. And I was like, Okay. That’s crazy…I was talking to the matchmaker today. I think his name is Rich(Chou). He actually said something that kind of put the pressure on me. He’s like, ‘yeah, we think we might have the next great MacDonald from the north.’”
Bellator’s light-heavyweight talent pool
“Yeah, I’ve been scoping a lot of them man and the biggest thing that I see is they’re all slow as fuck. Like, a lot of them guys are real slow and don’t have a lot of good movement. Everybody’s got a lot of power and there’s definitely some real good grapplers but at the end of the day, man, I think that I’m way faster than all of them guys. And I think at the rate that I’m learning and the amount of time that it took me to get where I am, I’m getting better every month. I think by the time I have an opportunity to fight one of them, guys, I think that I’m gonna blow them out of the water honestly, man.”
Skateboarding in Calgary
“I have a skateboard in my truck at all times… I usually park my truck at the end of town and I just skateboard to wherever I gotta go. It’s really good exercise, man. I love to skateboard. The only thing is it’s fucking a little bit dangerous when you’re 225 pounds and you hit the concrete.”
Debut details and closing statements
Timeline for MacDonald’s first Bellator bout
“We’re getting a work visa and stuff sorted out right now. Then we’re shooting for hopefully around like November would be ideal. I’d fight right now if they’d let me man, but it’s just we’re trying to work out this visa stuff right now.”
“Just give a shout out to my coach Dave and all my sponsors that just started popping off, finally. Everybody back in Cape Breton that supports me and I just can’t wait to make a mark in Canadian MMA, man. I’m gonna bring fuckin’ a lot of attention that Canadians deserve.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.