Rory MacDonald Bellator MMA

No heavyweight tournament for Bellator 192’s Rory MacDonald

Published On January 11, 2018 | MMA News
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It sounded like a bold idea, but Bellator welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald won’t be participating in the promotion’s heavyweight tournament.

“I think Rory has a big fight coming up that he’s focused on at 170 pounds,” Bellator President Scott Coker told MMAjunkie during a conference call in support of MacDonald’s (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) title shot against welterweight champ Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) at Bellator 192. “So let’s see how that works out.

“As far as him fighting at heavyweight, the thing I love about him is he’s a real martial artist, and the weight class issue doesn’t bother him. But I think that we’ll probably stick to heavyweights.”

MacDonald faces off with Lima in the Paramount-televised main event of the Jan. 20 fight card, which takes place at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. Bellator 192 also features an opening-round matchup in the eight-man heavyweight tournament: a co-headliner featuring Chael Sonnen (29-15-1 MMA, 1-1 BMMA) vs. Quinton “Rampage” Jackson (37-12 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) .

MacDonald told “The MMA Hour” he wanted to go “old school” in stepping up to face bigger men if he’s successful against Lima. The prospect of giving up so much weight to opponents wasn’t a concern.

“I think any time I get in a fight with somebody, I’m going to be competitive,” he said today. “I’m the type of fighter that’s going to go down swinging until my last breath. Even if these guys are massive, I’m still going to make them feel something. I’m going to make them fight for it.”

But for now, he’ll stick with his native welterweight division, in which he awaits a championship fight. If all goes well against Lima, you might see him bulk up – just not as much as he’d like.

Optimistic about his chances in any division, MacDonald said his options after the fight come down to timing.

“I’m pretty much open to anything,” MacDonald said. “Whatever is the best thing at that particular time, I’m ready to jump on it. If there’s not a clear No. 1 contender at welterweight, if I beat Douglas, I’d be happy to fight for the middleweight title, or fight someone with a bigger name in a larger weight class.”

Getting past Douglas, he acknowledged, is no easy task to start. The Brazilian knocked out Andrey Koreshkov 14 months ago to win back the welterweight title and then defended against high-profile UFC defector Lorenz Larkin.

“He can hit hard from pretty much anywhere, and I think that’s the biggest thing,” MacDonald said. “But I’ve fought a lot of power hitters before and I’ve been very successful, so I’m not too stressed about it.

“He is dynamic, and he’s good on the ground as well. Pretty much every position we’re going to be in, it’s going to be a fight.”

This story No heavyweight tournament for Bellator 192’s Rory MacDonald first appeared on MMA Junkie.

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