Bellator’s Rory MacDonald Talks Preparing for Jon Fitch, Fighting in Canada

Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald is back in action in April, when he takes on Jon Fitch — in San Jose, not his native Canada, unfortunately.

Los Angeles, CA — Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald has his second child on the way, something that gives him renewed motivation ahead of his next appearance in the cage. That, by the way, will be against Jon Fitch. The fight goes down in April in San Jose. Not only will MacDonald’s title be on the line, but it’s another bout in the promotion’s welterweight grand prix.

In terms of his health going in, MacDonald told reporters including Cageside Press over the weekend that he was “doing good. I took some good amount of time to heal everything.” That time off has led him to feel “mentally and physically just very motivated to get back training hard, just fight hard, get back into that hunt mode again. It’s a good feeling.”

Injuries, of course, have nagged him over the years. “I’ve had such an annoying last few years. You fight, then you take a year off,” he observed. A broken nose, in particular, dogged him. It seems however that it’s in the past. “It’s just nice to be consistent.”

The key to this upcoming fight camp will be “preparation, planning. Kind of make some changes, put myself out of my comfort zone. Go back to what works.” It’s something that MacDonald feels he strayed from last time out. “I had done some different things in my training camp, that just worked in my comfort zone. I don’t want to get too much into it. I feel like I took this time off to plan my training camp a little bit. Push myself out of my comfort zone and get back in there hungry, focused, good shape, just ready to get in there and fight hard.”

And ultimately get back in the win column, after losing his bid for a second title against middleweight champ Gegard Mousasi. Now, it’s on to Jon Fitch.

Despite Fitch, with his much-lamented grinding style, being his opponent, “it’s pretty much the same as any other fight camp,” in terms of preparation. “You make technical adjustments, but I’m still going to train somewhat like the way I like to train to prepare myself. To get into good shape, to mentally get into the right place. When you see a certain fighter, you see his strengths, and you might want to work on a couple things that will get you out of the bad positions if you get there, and that’s about it.”

Interestingly, MacDonald has yet to talk to TriStar teammate Georges St. Pierre about the match-up. The all-time great defeated Fitch in a title fight back in the UFC.

One other subject of note arose Saturday: a Bellator card in Canada. It has been years since the promotion headed north, despite having two Canadian champions at the moment in Rory MacDonald and Julia Budd. As well as top-ranked flyweight Valerie Letourneau.

With a win, you’d think Bellator would take MacDonald home. Then again, maybe not. “They’ve been telling me that since I signed,” he revealed. “It’s my fourth fight now. It’s in Bellator’s hands.”

Vancouver, where MacDonald and Budd both hail from, seems like a no-brainer. “I understand Vancouver them not wanting to go there, just because of the market, the way it’s been,” MacDonald explained. Still, he added that “I would love to go back there and fight there. Even just to do a smaller town. I would love to fight in Kelowna personally. I think that would just be amazing. I talked to Scott about it, but I didn’t hear much back. He was interested.”

Earlier in the week, Coker suggested the promotion would return to the Great White North in 2019. Fingers crossed.