After a hugely successful Bellator MMA debut where he choked out the always dangerous Paul Daley, Rory MacDonald is getting his first shot at a title in the promotion. MacDonald will face welterweight champion Douglas Lima at The Forum this January. The news was first reported by the Los Angeles Times.
MacDonald (19-4) has been one of Bellator’s biggest free agent acquisitions, and did not disappoint when he finished Daley at Bellator 179 earlier this year. Prior to that, he had dropped bouts to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson (who would go on to challenge for welterweight gold in the UFC twice) and Robbie Lawler, in a Fight of the Year classic for the UFC’s 170lb title. Despite the losing streak, MacDonald was a top five welterweight when he exited the UFC for greener pastures in Bellator.
Douglas Lima (29–6), of course, is a two-time and current Bellator MMA welterweight champion. He’ll enter January’s title fight off his first title defense, against another ex-UFC star, Lorenz Larkin. “I haven’t been this healthy in a long time and Rory is going to be just another win on my record” said Lima in a prepared statement quoted by the Times.
The event takes place January 20. No other fights have been announced for the card thus far.