When former UFC welterweight title challenger Rory MacDonald joined the Bellator family in August of 2016, he was expected to get an immediate title shot. Instead, however, he was booked for a May 2017 scrap with British knockout artist Paul Daley.
When MacDonald won this battle with Daley with a second-round submission, he seemed to erase any doubt that he deserved the next shot at Bellator welterweight king Douglas Lima. Unfortunately, he then went months without a fight offer, which caused him to grow frustrated with his new employers, and even begin discussing a possible super fight with former Bellator lightweight champion Michael Chandler.
It now appears that this fight with Chandler won’t be necessary, as MacDonald has finally been pencilled in for his long-awaited Bellator welterweight title shot. He’s set to battle the divisional king Douglas Lima on January 20 inside The Forum in Los Angeles, California.
This exciting news comes from The Los Angeles Times.
“When I signed with Bellator, I made it clear I wanted to take over — multiple weight classes and multiple championships,” MacDonald said in a prepared statement (via the LA Times). “Douglas Lima and his title are first on the list before I move onto the next.”
“I haven’t been this healthy in a long time and Rory is going to be just another win on my record,” Lima replied in his own prepared statement.
Before winning his Bellator debut over Paul Daley, Rory MacDonald came up short in his final UFC fight, losing to future title challenger Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson. This loss was preceded by a TKO loss to former UFC welterweight champ Robbie Lawler. MacDonald holds a win over reigning UFC welterweight king Tyron Woodley, and recent title challenger Demian Maia.
Lima, meanwhile, last fought in June, when he successfully defended his title against top-10 welterweight Lorenz Larkin. This win was preceded by a thunderous KO of Andrey Koreshkov, which won him the divisional crown.
Do you think Rory MacDonald will win Bellator gold this January, or will Douglas Lima prove to be too much?
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 9/20/2017.