Rory MacDonald, Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix

Rory MacDonald says he’s fighting Gracie among doubts of fighting future

Rory MacDonald retained his Bellator welterweight title in a majority draw to Jon Fitch last night at Bellator 220. MacDonald had success in the fight where he landed some shots that appeared to rock Fitch. But, for the 41-year-old, he controlled the Canadian on the ground for the majority of the fight and it seemed like he had won the fight when the final bell rang.

Fitch’s corner celebrated as the longtime MMA veteran was going to win yet another major title. But, when the scorecards were read, Fitch won on one of them with the other two having a draw. Meaning, Fitch was eliminated and MacDonald moved on. But, after the fight, it didn’t seem certain that MacDonald was fully invested in fighting.

“It’s hard to pull the trigger,” he said in the cage. “I don’t have that killer instinct. It’s hard to explain.

“It takes a certain spirit to come in here and put a man through pain, and I don’t know if I have that same drive to hurt people anymore.”

And, at the post-fight press conference, MacDonald clarified those comments, even more, saying he was just expressing what he felt and believes he will fight Neiman Gracie next round.

“I’m going to sit back, pray and see what God has in store for me,” he said. “My plans are to go to the next stage and compete against Neiman.”

”Yeah, I’m pretty sure,” he said when asked if he would be ready and if he would be taking that next fight so soon after a grinding five-rounder. “I have a little cut. It should heal up. The stitches should be out in a week. A week after that, I should be back to normal. I have a swollen elbow, but that should go down pretty fast.”

As for Coker, the plan is for the Canadian to fight Gracie on June 14 unless something else changes.

“He’s very emotional, looking inward on the fight and the future,” said Coker. “Listen, if he wants to fight, he will. We expect Rory to fight Neiman. If that changes, we’ll let you know.

“This was a championship fight and the champion didn’t get beat, and that’s why Rory is moving forward.”

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