The Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix will continue to proceed along with the past quarterfinal bout to be reserved, and I will offer my thoughts on this brand new matchup in the present MMA odds and ends.
Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch, Bellator
Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald will put his belt on the line from the quarterfinals of this Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix when he chooses Jon Fitch at a yet-to-be-named event set for April 27 in San Jose, California. Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com broke the information. This is the fourth and final quarterfinal bout at the championship. Douglas Lima conquer Andrey Koreshkov within their trilogy struggle and Nieman Gracie upset Ed Ruth at the other quartefinal matchups completed so far, with the Michael Page vs. Paul Daley fight set to take place in February. The winner of MacDonald vs. Fitch will take on Gracie on that side of the bracket’s semifinals, while Lima will combat the winer of Page vs. Daley.
MacDonald (20-5) is 2-1 thus much in Bellator. In his first two Bellator fights, he looked like one of the greatest fighters on the planet as he submitted Daley and then beat Lima over five rounds to win the welterweight title. He then moved up in weight in his final bout when he took on Gegard Mousasi in his bid to be a rare Bellator double champion. But MacDonald got defeated in that fight, losing via second-round TKO. MacDonald will have had six months between the Mousasi and Fitch fights, therefore that he should be good to go health-wise. However, the fact he took so much damage against Mousasi is worrisome. Then again, MacDonald was battling a weight class for the very first time. In welterweight, he is clearly among the best on the planet, and he owns a dominant win over current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Fitch (31-7-1) has quietly made a run at the dusk of his career. Currently 40, Fitch is riding a five-fight win series at the minute which comprises a dominant win over Daley within his Bellator debut. As well, Fitch holds noteworthy wins over Jake Shields and Yushin Okami during his latest win series, and he was the PFL welterweight champion before signing with Bellator. Since getting cut from the UFC in 2013, Fitch has gone 7-2 in WSOF, PFL and Bellator. He’s no longer among the sport’s elite welterweights such as he had been a decade ago, but he has a good wrestling base that may get him his hands raised.
That being said, this really is MacDonald’s struggle to lose. He must possess the takedown defense to keep the battle on the toes, and at the standup there’s no question MacDonald is the exceptional fighter. Fitch has not won a fight by knockout since 2006, therefore he appears to have no route to victory in this bout if he can’t get it to the floor. Even with the loss to Mousasi, I would still peg MacDonald around a -500 preferred to defend his belt against Fitch and proceed on into the next round of this tournament.
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