“I’m disappointed, what can I say? Every time you fight for a world championship fighters take pride…it’s a special moment to be a main event for a world title fight. It’s an unfortunate part of it, but I’m not going to let it take my focus away from what my job is and getting that title. It was totally out of the blue. I didn’t see it coming. I found out through an interview. I didn’t even find out from anyone from Bellator or anything like that so it was a total shocker,” said the challenger.
I didn’t really know how to take it and why the decision was made, but after hearing why, it’s their business and it’s how they want to run things. My business is in the cage, so I’m focused on that. I’m not sure why their decision is to put Chael [Sonnen] and Rampage [Jackson] there or if that’s that, but I get what you’re saying. Newer fans are expecting drama and half the entertainment for them is the build-up, the drama between the guys and less so the martial arts aspect of it. I’m focused on the martial arts. I’m not a dramatic guy. And I get it, but the main focus should be on the martial arts and the way the fighters are going about it in the cage rather than so much outside.
I think they don’t want people turning the channel if the fight before me is not good. That’s what I got.”
Since the welterweight title bout between the champion, Douglas Lima and Rory MacDonald was first announced for Bellator 192, everyone expected it to be the headliner. And that was the case…until just a week ago when Bellator announced a sudden change. Instead of the highly anticipated title fight, the first fight of Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix between Chael Sonnen and Rampage Jackson will take the top spotlight instead.
Bellator 192 is this Saturday, January 20 and will go head to head with UFC 220. Douglas Lima is a two time Bellator welterweight champion and will look to earn his second consecutive title defense by defeating one of the very best welterweights in the world. It was a big surprise when Rory MacDonald departed the UFC at only age twenty-six and being so highly ranked. But MacDonald has made the best of his opportunity so far and plans to keep it that way.
Did Bellator make the wrong move by making one of their greatest all-time fights on paper the co-main event?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/17/2018.