Bellator President Scott Coker had high hopes of the Welterweight Grand Prix tournament’s final happening as early as this September. However, the current champion Rory MacDonald was very quick in dismissing the same. After two full fledged training camps and 50 mins of fight time, Rory needs some time off to allow his body to recover and to await the birth of his upcoming son.
MacDonald has just defeated BJJ ace Neiman Gracie convincingly in a five round fight. The fight was in the semi final of the ongoing Welterweight Grand Prix. The win has sealed a rematch of Rory with Douglas Lima whom he defeated last year to grab the belt. Despite being on a green patch in his career, Rory expressed concerns on his ability to have the killer instinct necessary to finish fights.
“I have to take some time and heal some things up after back-to-back fights and training camps,” MacDonald said at the Bellator 222 post-fight press conference.
“[September is] not realistic for me. I mean I wish I could make it come true. I had a feeling they would want that but it’s just not possible with what’s going on in my life right now. I need to take some time to heal from these fights, from these training camps, so I can be ready for a guy like Douglas.”
Having his eyes set on the $1 million prize of the tournament, Lima was annoyed with the delay. He himself was expecting a fight in September. He even took to Twitter to express his disappointment and anguish.
4 weeks rest 8 weeks camp! Come on now https://t.co/Cv4fJblTDo
— Douglas Lima (@PhenomLima) June 15, 2019
“Like December maybe November,” MacDonald answered when asked for a tentative timeline for the rematch. He even replied directly to Lima on Twitter.
— Rory MacDonald (@rory_macdonald) June 15, 2019
Given the fighting veteran that he is, MacDonald is very much aware of the threat that Lima presents. And if not, their first fight would have surely reinforced the same in his mind. In a back and forth affair, Rory did get his hands raised, but he didn’t escape unhurt. That’s why he has to get in a particular frame of mind before stepping up to fight him.
“When you’re training every day, you kind of have to have the eye of the tiger. It’s like eat, sleep, you’ve got to be like chewing on steel kind of thing for six weeks,” MacDonald described. “It hardens your body, hardens your mind.
“Something about that just gets you in that mind frame of just being able to push through low points where if you were just kind of training so-so, in good shape, you might slack off a little bit.”