Rory MacDonald expects competitive Bellator title fight vs. Douglas Lima – but also a finish

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

After having little trouble getting past Paul Daley in his Bellator debut, Rory MacDonald believes his second promotional outing, against welterweight champion Douglas Lima, is going to be more competitive.

Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA), MacDonald points out, is going to be more competitive on the ground than the heavily striking-based Daley (40-15-2 MMA, 6-2 BMMA). The same applies to the wrestling bit. And, when it comes to both his past and future competitors’ kickboxing, MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) believes the two are even.

All things considered, Lima poses “a lot more” problems than Daley – who MacDonald finished in the second round of a Bellator 179 encounter. But, for the title challenger, that’s not at all a bad thing.

“I do believe that, in the transitions, that these more skilled and more well rounded guys present, I think that’s where I’m going to shine,” MacDonald told MMAjunkie. “And have my exciting moments that really give the fan an eye-opening experience, like ‘OK, this is the level of difference of the top guy and the guy just underneath.’ …

“I don’t say all of them, but I would say the majority (of fans) think that this guy is going to get squashed. I do think that it’s going to be a lot more competitive than the Paul Daley Fight. But, on the same note, I do believe his skillset is going to only delay what’s going to happen. I’m confident that I’m going to put him away.”

If you simply look at the records, it’s clear who has the momentum coming into the still-unnamed Spike-televised event set to take place Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. While Lima rides a three-fight winning streak, including the rematch that saw him reclaim the title from Andrei Koreshkov, MacDonald’s win over Daley snapped a winless dry spell that dated back to 2014.

Still, as a former UFC title challenger who put on some of the most memorable bouts of recent years, MacDonald was one of the world’s hottest free agents in MMA for a reason. Not to mention that, though both Lima and MacDonald fought and beat Daley, MacDonald was the one who was able to come out with a finish.

On his end, MacDonald believes there are lessons to be taken from Lima’s history. Not all of it is good, though.

“I think it gives me a sense of what kind of fighter Lima is,” MacDonald said. “I think he’s better than those guys, absolutely. But I don’t think he likes to be pushed out of his comfort zone. I don’t think he likes to take risks. I think he likes to sit back, win fights, and I think he’s a little bit scared, in that sense, when the time comes.

“I think he gets a little bit stressed out and doesn’t want to take that risk. I’ve been there, I know that feeling. So I guess I know how to expose it. And I see it. I see in his eyes. I see it in his performances. That’s why I’m pretty confident I know what’s going to happen the night of the fight.”

And what is that, exactly?

“I see it going probably one or two rounds,” MacDonald said. “Maybe three. I don’t see it going into the four of five rounds. I think I’m going to close the show before then.”

While MacDonald is only 28, he does carry a lot of experience into the cage – the type that numbers alone can’t quite measure. Amid his 23 professional MMA bouts, a few battles stand out – most notably, the UFC 189 rematch with then-champ Lawler that ended with a fifth-round TKO and two severely mangled faces.

MacDonald has since talked a few times about the battle – and has even accused Lawler of having made use of PEDs when it happened. But, although he walked away with a loss on his record, to this day he can’t take away from the type of experience that came from it.

“The fight with Lawler gave me a lot of comfort and confidence in fighting in a cage,” MacDonald said. “I’ve kind of been through that worst-case scenario, so to speak. And once you go through that, it’s kind of like swimming in the deep-end of the pool and finally realizing what it’s about. So I’m pretty relaxed when it comes to stepping into the cage now. It’s not that stressful.

“It is a stressful situation. The fights can get intense and get away from me still, I guess. But I guess a new level of confidence and comfort came over me in that fight. And stressful situations like titles an attention and cameras and light and people. That stuff kind of – it’s become easier for me to deal with. Because I’ve been through it. I’ve been there. It’s not unexpected. It’s not unknown anymore. I know what it’s about.”

To hear more from MacDonald, check out the video above.

And for more on “Bellator: Lima vs. MacDonald,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator champ Douglas Lima on Rory MacDonald: 'Mark my words, I'm going to finish him'

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

It’s rare that a champion is willing to go into enemy territory to defend his title. And yet, that was the case for Bellator welterweight title holder Douglas Lima if it meant fighting Rory MacDonald.

“I said it before. I’ll fight him in his backyard. I don’t mind,” Lima this week told MMAjunkie. “I fought in Canada many times before. I don’t mind it at all. I told them, ‘Wherever you want to make this fight, just make it happen.’ I don’t mind where it is.

“I was actually expecting it to be in Canada. He’s such a big name from there. More people to watch. It doesn’t matter who they’re cheering for. As long as the fight happened, I wouldn’t mind at all.”

Of course, Lima  (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) won’t have to worry about a home disadvantage when he takes on MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) on Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif.

Lima will be looking for his fourth consecutive win and second title defense after scoring a unanimous decision over Lorenz Larkin in June at Bellator NYC. MacDonald, meanwhile, will look to build on the momentum of his impressive submission win over Paul Daley in his promotional debut, which snapped a two-fight skid in the UFC.

Daley represents a common denominator for both MacDonald and Lima. Whereas MacDonald dominated his way to victory over “Semtex,” Lima went the distance for a unanimous-decision win last year at Bellator 158.

That was highlighted by MacDonald during their first face-off, who used that as evidence to predict Lima is “in for a hurting” when they meet. Not so fast, says Lima.

“MMA math doesn’t work,” Lima said. “It doesn’t matter if I took a guy to a decision, and he finished a guy. … It doesn’t matter. I guess it matters to him. But for me, I’m going to make it simple for him. I’m going to finish him instead of a decision. Let him say what he wants to say.”

“I really see myself knocking this guy out,” Lima added. “I do. People say he’s tough, he’s been through some wars. But, man, that jaw is always going to be the same. And I’m going to find it, and I’m going to knock this guy out. Mark my words, I’m going to finish him.”

To hear more from Lima, check out the video above.

And for more on “Bellator: Lima vs. MacDonald,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Watch MMAjunkie Radio here (1 p.m. ET) with Bellator's Douglas Lima, Paul Daley

MMAjunkie Radio kicks off today at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) with guests Douglas Lima and Paul Daley.

Lima, Bellator’s welterweight champion, will talk about his upcoming title defense against former UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald in January in Los Angeles. Daley, also a Bellator welterweight, will talk about his knockout of Lorenz Larkin this past Saturday at Bellator 183, which gave him 30 knockouts in his 40 career wins.

MMAjunkie Radio airs from 1 to 3 p.m. ET (10 a.m. to noon PT), live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. You can watch and listen live on MMAjunkie’s Facebook and YouTube pages. Additionally, SiriusXM Rush (Ch. 93) carries a replay later in the day (8-10 p.m. ET) and the following morning (7-9 a.m. ET), or catch a replay on demand.

MMAjunkie Radio listener guide:

  • HOW TO WATCH (ON WEB): Watch a live stream on MMAjunkie’s Facebook or YouTube pages.
  • HOW TO CALL: MMAjunkie Radio takes phone calls from listeners throughout the show. Call into the MMAjunkie Radio hotline at (866) 522-2846.
  • HOW TO DISCUSS: The MMAjunkie MMA Forums has a section devoted solely to MMAjunkie Radio. Stop by the MMAjunkie Radio forum to discuss the show, interact with the hosts, suggest future guests and catch up on the latest MMAjunkie Radio news.
  • HOW TO VISIT THE SHOW: You can watch MMAjunkie Radio live and in person at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino on the world-famous Las Vegas Strip. The booth is located in the resort’s Race & Sports Book next to the Mandalay Bay poker room. To plan a trip to Sin City and MMAjunkie Radio, go to www.mandalaybay.com.

Filed under: Bellator, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Rory MacDonald 'probably wouldn't have advised' Georges St-Pierre to return at middleweight

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC

Bellator welterweight Rory MacDonald once lived in Georges St-Pierre’s shadow. A training partner of “Rush,” his early career was defined, in part, by his relationship to the former UFC welterweight champ.

Back then, St-Pierre was a mentor to MacDonald. But now, MacDonald is his own man, training in British Columbia, far away from St-Pierre’s Tristar home in Montreal. He’s a star in his own right with Bellator.

That means MacDonald is a spectator to St-Pierre’s (25-2 MMA, 19-2 UFC) return like everyone else. He’s not quite sure how the once-dominant force in MMA will look when he takes on middleweight champion Michael Bisping (30-7 MMA, 20-7 UFC) at UFC 217, which takes place Nov. 4 at Madison Square Garden in New York.

“It will be hard to say, because we haven’t seen him in a while,” MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA), who next faces Bellator welterweight champ Douglas Lima, told MMAjunkie. “That’s the exciting part.”

The 36-year-old St-Pierre was a master at transitioning from striking to wrestling, always keeping his opponents off balance. But his opponents were a lot lighter.

St-Pierre repeatedly resisted the idea of moving to middleweight when the division was owned by Anderson Silva. He argued he would need years to bulk up to combat a size disadvantage. After years of rumors of a potential super fight, St-Pierre stepped away from the sport as a welterweight.

“The 185 thing, I probably wouldn’t have advised it, but he is his own guy,” MacDonald continued. “He has his own goals. He’s obviously very talented.

“He is the most dominant champion in welterweight, and one of the most dominant champions ever. It’s hard for me to say what’s right and wrong to a guy like that.”

St-Pierre, after all, has already showed the world he can come back from a serious deficit. Many questioned his future when he suffered back-to-back ACL injuries, and still he returned in peak form to defend his belt.

A self-imposed four-year layoff is an entirely new hurdle, though.

If MacDonald hadn’t experienced St-Pierre’s meticulous preparation first hand, he might be more doubtful of the experiment. Like a lot of people, he has his questions about what will transpire. But he still believes in his old mentor’s abilities.

“It will be interesting to see what new skills he brings in there, or if he’s going to revert back to his natural strengths,” MacDonald said. “I’ll be watching. I hope for the best.”

Check out the above video to hear more from MacDonald.

And for more on UFC 217 and “Bellator: Lima vs. MacDonald,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Douglas Lima on Rory MacDonald face-off: 'I thought he was going to sell me an iPad'

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

Bellator champ Douglas Lima’s thoughts when he was face to face with a Steve Jobs-looking Rory MacDonald? “I thought he was going to sell me an iPad.”

The welterweight titleholder recently spoke to MMAjunkie about the encounter. This past weekend at Bellator 183, Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) and upcoming opponent MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) had a face-off – and it was a bit of a weird one.

The fighters meet Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., though the Spike-televised event doesn’t yet have a name/number. But it’ll be a big fight to kick off the organization’s 2018 season; Lima is No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, and MacDonald is No. 4.

Both dressed up for the face-off, though Lima said it dragged on for a bit and was a little “awkward.” He said he also felt a bit overshadowed since everyone was buzzing about MacDonald’s killer black turtleneck – and not Lima’s snazzy suit.

“I thought I had the better looks,” he joked.

Still, those face-offs are “part of the job,” though this latest one seemed to drag on (via Instagram):

Instagram Photo

“You know, nobody broke us apart,” he said. “So we just stood there. I didn’t want to be the guy who looked away first, but it didn’t matter. It’s fun. It’s real. It’s a good feeling to get that first staredown.”

Lima is currently in his second Bellator title reign and looks for his second straight title defense. The 29-year-old reclaimed the belt in November 2016 with a knockout of Andrey Koreshkov (which avenged his first title loss), and he then defended it in June with a unanimous-decision victory over Lorenz Larkin.

He now fights MacDonald, a onetime UFC title challenger who left the organization after back-to-back losses to then-champ Robbie Lawler and fellow contender Stephen Thompson. The 28-year-old Canadian then became one of Bellator’s top free-agent signings. In his promotional debut, he submitted Paul Daley in May.

For more on “Bellator: Lima vs. MacDonald,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Rory MacDonald and his glorious turtleneck threw shade at Douglas Lima during first face-off

One of the most anticipated title fights in Bellator history will kick off the organization’s 2018 schedule when welterweight champion Douglas Lima meets Rory MacDonald.

A fight between Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) and MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) has been speculated since the former UFC title challenger joined the Bellator roster this past year. It will finally happen on Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and promotional efforts for the contest are already underway.

During Saturday’s Bellator 183 event, Lima – No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings – and No. 4-ranked MacDonald, faced off for the first time, and the Canadian came dressed for the occasion (via Twitter):

MacDonald made a successful Bellator debut in May with a second-round submission of Paul Daley. “Semtex” competed in the Bellator 183 co-headliner, picking up a second-round knockout over Lorenz Larkin.

Lima holds unanimous decision victories over Daley and Larkin. However, given his takeaway from all the fights he’s witnessed between the trio, MacDonald doesn’t think the champion has much chance of retaining his belt.

“He’s in for a hurting, man,” MacDonald said. “As you can see in these guys’ last performance here (between Daley and Larkin), I’m a level above these guys. This guy could barely hold his own with these two men in here, and I finished (Daley) like it was nothing. Expect the same when it comes to me fighting him.”

Lima was given a chance to fire back, and he did.

“It’s just going to be another name to the list,” Lima said. “Keep bringing them over (from the UFC), and I’ll keep taking them out.”

Instagram Photo

For complete coverage of Bellator 183, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator 183's Paul Daley: Only Nick Diaz and Douglas Lima were men of their word

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Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos

SAN JOSE, Calif. – A lot of fighters talk a big game, but Paul Daley said only Nick Diaz and Douglas Lima walked the walk after talking the talk.

Big-show vet Daley (39-15-2 MMA, 5-2 BMMA) meets former UFC fighter and recent Bellator arrival Lorenz Larkin (18-6 MMA, 0-1 BMMA) on Saturday at Bellator 183.

The welterweight fight, which airs on Spike from SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., has already created some fireworks. They’ve been out of the cage, though, as Larkin has spoken openly and often about his disdain for Daley’s perceived insincere trash-talk.

But Daley?

“The fact it’s getting so heated up is just comical,” he told MMAjunkie. “But I hope he brings that same intensity into the ring.”

After all, Daley, a 33-year-old vet with 29 knockouts in 39 career wins, has faced many opponents who promised to stand and bag with the British slugger – only look to look for a reprieve once they got rattled.

There have been a few exceptions, Daley said.

“I think there are two people in my career … who felt the heat and stayed on their feet and not attempted to clinch or go for a takedown, and that’s Douglas Lima and Nick Diaz,” he said. “That’s the only two guys in over 53 fights.”

Lima picked up a unanimous-decision win over Daley in July 2016, and Diaz scored a TKO win over Daly at a 2011 Strikeforce event. They’re not Daley’s only career losses, but he said those two past opponents really stand out.

“Those are the only two guys I’ve hit and stayed up, and they haven’t tried to take me down or play a different game, and they kept coming after it,” Daley said. “I just hope Lorenz does too.”

Check out the full interview as Daley breaks down the matchup, talks about his potential retirement, what he wants his legacy to be, and whether a fight with rival Michael Page ever happens.

And for more on Bellator 183, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Bellator, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie

Rory MacDonald sends Douglas Lima scary GIF after fight booking, champ responds

It didn’t take long for Rory MacDonald and Douglas Lima to get into it on social media after their Bellator welterweight championship fight was confirmed.

Bellator officials today announced MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) will challenge Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) for the 170-pound title on Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It’s a fight everyone knew was coming after “The Red King” made a successful Bellator debut against Paul Daley in May.

MacDonald sent a message to Lima following the Brazilian’s successful title defense vs. Lorenz Larkin at Bellator NYC in June, saying that he was “really underwhelmed” by the performance and that, “If these guys think they’re keeping the belt fighting like that, they’re just going to be another body in the grave.”

The dark imagery from the Canadian continued after the fight announcement became public, with MacDonald sending the champ a GIF from the movie “Sin City” (via Twitter):

Lima, No. 7 in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, clearly has no intention of being intimidated by No. 4-ranked MacDonald. “The Phenom” immediately replied to the former UFC welterweight title challenger, letting him know that he’s not going to give up his belt without a fight (via Twitter):

For more on Bellator’s upcoming event schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Bellator, Blue Corner, News
Source: MMA Junkie

Bellator books Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald title fight for Jan. 20

The Bellator welterweight title will be on the line in January.

Reigning champion Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) will meet Rory MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) at the event, which doesn’t currently have a name/number, Bellator officials announced via latimes.com.

It’s slated for Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif., and airs on Spike. No other bouts were announced for the card.

MacDonald is No. 4 in the USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, and Lima is No. 7.

Lima, a 29-year-old Brazilian, is currently in his second Bellator title reign and looks for his second straight title defense. He reclaimed the belt in November 2016 with a knockout of Andrey Koreshkov (which avenged his first title loss), and he then defended it in June with a unanimous-decision victory over Lorenz Larkin.

He meets another former UFC fighter in MacDonald. The onetime UFC title challenger left the organization after back-to-back losses to then-champ Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson. The 28-year-old Canadian then became one of Bellator’s top free-agent signings. In his promotional debut, he submitted Paul Daley in May.

For more on “Bellator: Lima vs. MacDonald,” check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator
Source: MMA Junkie

Ex-champ Andrey Koreshkov hopes he may have jumped the line for a Bellator title shot

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos

VERONA, N.Y. – With a dominant win in the Bellator 182 main event Friday night, former welterweight champion Andrey Koreshkov would love to think he may have jumped the line to get another crack at the belt.

If nothing else, Koreshkov (20-2 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) gave Bellator President Scott Coker and matchmaker Rich Chou something to think about when he took out Chidi Njokuani (17-5 MMA, 4-1 BMMA) in the first round of their headliner – which came at a catchweight after Njokuani came in heavy for the sixth time in six years.

The fight headlined Bellator 182 at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. The main card aired on Spike following prelims on MMAjunkie.

“I feel like I had a really good performance,” Koreshkov told MMAjunkie through a translator after the fight. “I matched him standing, and obviously I finished the fight in a spectacular fashion on the ground. It wasn’t a boring fight – it was an exciting fight, and Chidi is obviously a tough opponent.

“So I feel like I earned the shot to go back to the title. I feel like with my performance today, I should get a title shot.”

But there is another fighter out there who would likely have something to say abou that. Rory MacDonald (19-4 MMA, 1-0 BMMA) signed with Bellator in 2016 after years in the UFC, where he lost a title fight in 2015. In May, he made his long-awaited promotional debut and made easy work of fellow contender Paul Daley for a second-round rear-naked choke finish.

The widely held presumption has been that MacDonald will meet champion Douglas Lima (29-6 MMA, 11-2 BMMA) for the title – though that isn’t expected to happen until 2018. Lima caught Koreshkov this past November and knocked him out to win the title in a rematch.

If Koreshkov has to wait to get the winner of Lima and MacDonald, he seems OK with it.

“Rory or Douglas, it doesn’t matter. Be ready, because I’m coming – I’m coming for the belt.”

For more from Koreshkov after his TKO win over Njokuani, check out the video above.

And for more on Bellator 182, check out the MMA Events section of the site.

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Filed under: Bellator, Featured, News, Videos
Source: MMA Junkie