There are some huge fights tomorrow. Two giant title fights are perched atop UFC 220 which goes down in Boston, but Bellator’s title fight is just as big. Former UFC welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald gets his shot at Bellator gold against belt-holder Douglas Lima. MacDonald has a chance to accomplish something he was never able to pull off in the UFC, but Lima is there to try and stop him every step of the way. Even if that means targeting a body part that has caused him problems since 2015’s Fight of the Year against Robbie Lawler.
“At some point over 25 minutes, [Rory MacDonald]’s going to have to take those shots and I’m definitely curious to see how he handles it and how he’s going to react to that. I’m throwing everything with bad intentions. I’m going to try to finish him every second of the fight. I don’t want this fight to go to a decision. I want to make a statement and I want to take his head off. Let’s see if his nose has healed up. I’m definitely going to aim for that.”
— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) January 19, 2018
“If he’s not [focused], he’s going to have to find out come January 20th. People can say whatever they want, but it’s about doing it. I don’t think he will ever get in the heavyweight tournament. I think he’s just saying stuff. I don’t know what’s going on in his mind but he’s got a much tougher challenge in me. That should be his focus. He’s just talking. I’m sure he’s very focused on this fight. It’s not going to be an easy one for him and he knows that.” — Douglas Lima speaking to MMA NYTT.
After the brutal war with Robbie Lawler back at UFC 189, Rory MacDonald had surgery on his nose, resulting in a long hiatus before he finally made his Bellator debut. He instantly erased any doubts about ring rust by dominating Paul Daley in May of last year, finishing him early in the second round. Pushed into this title fight with Douglas Lima after his performance at Bellator 179, this will be another test for MacDonald. Will it be and new or and still? Bellator 192 will give us answers tomorrow.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/19/2018.