Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald has had quite the year.
After fighting to a draw with Jon Fitch in the Bellator welterweight Grand Prix quarterfinal in April, the Canadian’s motivations seemed to be elsewhere as he hinted at retirement after the contest.
He would later clarify that he still intended on competing and was just dealing with internal struggles at the time. MacDonald would later get back to winning ways by handing Neiman Gracie his first professional loss via unanimous decision in the Grand Prix semifinals in June.
Now, he faces Douglas Lima in the final at Bellator 232 this Saturday and has a chance at ending his year on a high.
MacDonald, of course, took the title from Lima in a close five-round contest when they met last year. And when the Grand Prix bouts were initially announced, “Red King” had a feeling they would end up meeting again in the final.
“Yeah, I had a feeling it was going to be me and him,” MacDonald told Sherdog at a recent media day. “I’m super excited because we had a close fight. Looking to go out there and make a statement.”
Lima is regarded as one of the best welterweights in the world. He has won 10 of his last 12 fights in Bellator, the most recent of which was a knockout of Michael “Venom” Page.
— Bellator MMA (@BellatorMMA) May 12, 2019
MacDonald is also high up there, especially when one considers he holds dominant wins over the likes of Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley, and Nate Diaz.
And the former UFC title challenger believes a second win over Lima would certainly spark up the debate as to whether he is the best welterweight on the planet.
“Yeah, in a lot of people’s minds, I think it will,” MacDonald responded when asked if he’d be considered the best 170-pounder in the world with a win. “Obviously, I know everyone’s got their own opinions but yeah, I do believe that will be a conversation piece for a lot of people.”
As for how MacDonald thinks the fight will go, he expects a finish.
“I think it’s going to be a dominant stoppage early on in the fight,” he added.