Potentially the biggest fight in Bellator history is just nine days away. Former UFC welterweight title challenger and infamous violence deity Rory MacDonald will challenge Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima next Saturday at Bellator 192. Always in the shadow of the UFC, Lima is looking to come out on the lighter side of an organizational eclipse by beating one of the absolute best in the world. Whether you believe in the rankings or not, the numbers don’t even need to be beside the names to understand that this is a fight to determine the elite of the elite in the division.
“I’d love to think [the winner is No. 1 in the world] – I think Rory [MacDonald]’s been on the top for a long time. He beat the guy [Tyron Woodley] who is supposedly the No. 1 right now – he beat him before. So he can be considered the No. 1, and I’ll take that spot when I beat him next Saturday, for sure. I’m honestly not even thinking about that. I’m just focused on the fight. I don’t really care much about rankings. There’s always going to be someone saying something like, ‘He doesn’t deserve to be No. 1.’ So, I’m not really focusing on that.”
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) January 2, 2018
“I feel like it’s getting better. Bellator is bringing out all these top guys and guys with big names. I love it. I love to have that target on my back. I love being the champion and let them all come at me. I love it. I love what Bellator is doing. The division is stacked and it feels good to sit on top of it. I’m being considered the underdog for many people, but in my eyes I’m not the underdog. I’m the champion. I know [MacDonald]’s fought bigger names throughout his career, but I don’t think it matter who is the underdog or not. This is one of the best fights at welterweight right now. It doesn’t matter which organization. At welterweight, this is one of the best fights ever.” — Douglas Lima speaking on the Bellator 192 conference call as transcribed by MMA Junkie.
In nine years, Douglas Lima has only lost to Ben Askren and Andrey Koreshkov, both were Bellator welterweight champions. Rory MacDonald holds wins over the previous UFC welterweight title challenger Demian Maia, and the current and dominant belt holder Tyron Woodley himself. It’s a giant fight that is going to have even the biggest UFC fans flipping the channel back and forth on Saturday, as Bellator 192 goes head-to-head with UFC 220’s broadcast.
— FullContactMTWF (@FullContactMTWF) January 5, 2018
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/11/2018.