Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald had a chance to make history in his last time out.
At Bellator 206, MacDonald was moving up to the middleweight division to take on middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi. The ‘Red King’ was looking to be the first ever dual-division champion in Bellator history. Ultimately, the Canadian failed to do that in what was a fairly dominant win for Mousasi.
Mousasi won the fight in the second round by TKO to retain his belt. However, going into the fight MacDonald knew something was wrong with his training.
“It was not a good performance and it didn’t go my way. It was a good learning opportunity for myself,” MacDonald said on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Show. “I feel like I didn’t go in, I didn’t prepare myself properly, the way I usually do. I think I had too many distractions and I just wasn’t focused. I didn’t have a fire in my veins like I usually do. Next time I just need to train harder and be more focused on the fight and not think about my life as much.
“Compared to when I first started in martial arts my life is very comfortable I make better money now, I have a good life outside of fighting. I guess it was I got very comfortable. (I) didn’t put myself out of my comfort zone for training for this fight,” MacDonald continued. That was the first mistake. When you don’t have that, there is no focus, no passion, no fire and it showed in the fight.”
Reflecting back on the fight, MacDonald has no idea why he didn’t feel prepared. It was arguably MacDonald’s biggest fight of his career.
Looking back two months later, MacDonald knows he missed an opportunity to make history. Simply put it, he wasn’t happy with his performance.
“I don’t know why. If it was just bad timing or what? I still haven’t figured that out, I am working on it,” MacDonald said. “I knew during the training camp that I wasn’t preparing myself properly. I was just kind of lying to myself like well I’ll give it my best shot when it happens. I’ll make the best of it. It turned out to be the worst performance of my career against my biggest opportunity. It was a big letdown, but it was my fault.”
Now, MacDonald will need to redeem himself when he takes on Jon Fitch in the opening round of the welterweight title Grand Prix. That fight is expected to happen in February or March. When it does, MacDonald will obviously need to show up and be prepared, unlike his last fight. Otherwise, he’ll be losing his title this time.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 11/19/2018