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Former UFC title contender Michael McDonald signs with Bellator MMA

Former UFC interim bantamweight title challenger Michael McDonald has signed a multi-fight deal with Bellator MMA.

Bellator officials informed ESPN of the signing Friday. A date has not yet been set for McDonald's promotional debut.

The signing comes one week after the 26-year-old McDonald parted ways with the UFC. HIs departure was unique in that he still had multiple fights on his deal, but both sides agreed to terminate the contract.

McDonald (17-4) told ESPN in a recent interview that he does not hold any ill will towards the UFC, whom he fought for since 2011 but had become frustrated over recent business negotiations.

Fighting out of Modesto, California, McDonald debuted with the UFC in 2011 as a 20-year-old prospect. He fought Renan Barao for the interim 135-pound championship in 2013, losing via submission.

Hand and wrist injuries sidelined McDonald during all of 2014 and 2015. He fought twice in 2016, and is coming off a loss to John Lineker in July.

McDonald joins a Bellator bantamweight division that features current titleholder Eduardo Dantas (19-4), Joe Warren (14-6) and Darrion Caldwell (10-1).