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