Rory MacDonald Says Family Life, Injury Resulted in Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix Delay

Many had hoped Bellator’s welterweight grand prix would wrap up within a year, but injuries and family life prevented Rory MacDonald from accepting a fight before October.

Bridgeport, CT — While Bellator MMA was in Connecticut over the weekend for the wildly entertaining Bellator 225, they’ll be back in the state again in October, bringing a double-header to the Mohegan Sun Arena. The second of two straight shows, Bellator 232 will be headlined by Rory MacDonald vs. Douglas Lima 2, a fight for, quite frankly, all the marbles.

MacDonald’s welterweight title will be on the line. It’s the final of Bellator’s welterweight grand prix. A million dollar prize awaits the winner. All the marbles indeed.

It’s a fight that MacDonald was expecting, he told media outlets including Cageside Press backstage at the Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport. “That was kind of always my impression, is that it would probably be him in the finals. There’s other really good guys [who were] fighting, but I had a feeling.”

The pair have become almost synonymous since their first meeting in 2018, which saw MacDonald dethrone Lima for the title in a grueling affair that left MacDonald barely able to walk. It’s impossible to talk about one without mentioning the other. Since that first fight, they’ve made several appearances together, including at Bellator 225. Lima was still nearby when MacDonald spoke to reporters Saturday.

The close proximity doesn’t bother the ‘Red King’ however. “I don’t get too weirded out about it. I’ve done a ton of these kind of things,” said MacDonald. “Douglas is a laid back kind of guy, it’s not that awkward. We’re competitors and professionals, this is what we do. You get used to it after a while.”

One big standout regarding the pair’s upcoming rematch is the prize money. MacDonald, however, is trying not to think about it. “A million dollars is motivating, sure.” But, as he pointed out, “the rematch is important, I have to put on a solid performance, I have to put on my best performance.”

“The million dollars, that’s really awesome. What a blessing that would be,” added MacDonald. “But I’m not focused on that.”

It was something of a surprise to see the finale of the welterweight grand prix booked for October, over a year after it had begun. MacDonald cited injury, and just plain old life, as the reason why he was unable to accept an earlier date.

“I couldn’t imagine doing my training camp during the summer. I needed some time for my injuries,” he said. Those included cuts, plus an injured elbow sustained in an earlier bout. “I had to go into the second fight with it,” he revealed. “Plus the situation in my house, welcoming my newborn and getting acquainted with that. It wasn’t possible for me to show up earlier than what we scheduled.”

MacDonald is now the proud pop of two kids, both a boy and a girl. That will no doubt be extra motivation moving forward. Especially against a dangerous foe in Lima, who pushed MacDonald to his limit in their first fight.

Lima has continued to look good since. “Both his fights were very impressive. I thought he looked really good in both of them,” MacDonald observed.

Watch the full press scrum with Rory MacDonald from Bellator 225 above! Bellator 232 takes place October 26, 2019 at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, CT.