During an appearance on The MMA Hour on Monday, JacksonWink MMA striking coach Brandon Gibson told Luke Thomas that “The Natural Born Killer” is going to head north to the Tristar gym in Montreal to work with MacDonald ahead of MacDonald’s upcoming Bellator middleweight title fight with Gegard Mousasi.
Gibson was speaking on the importance of coaches encouraging their fighters to go and seek new training opportunities when it begins to feel like their development has stagnated when he broke the news.
“I’m actually sending Carlos Condit up to Tristar,” Gibson said. “He’s gonna get a little work in with Rory and (Tristar head coach) Firas (Zahabi) and help Rory for the Mousasi fight. So I’m happy that Carlos gets to go out there and get a new look and pick up some new tools and get a new atmosphere and environment.”
Aside from the fact that Condit and MacDonald are both elite talents with championships to their name (Condit is a former World Extreme Cagefighting welterweight champion, while MacDonald currently reigns atop Bellator’s 170-pound division), the partnership is an intriguing one given the fighters’ history.
It was Condit who handed MacDonald his first professional loss. The two fought at UFC 115 back in June 2010, and the then-20-year-old MacDonald controlled the majority of the bout before being finished via strikes with just seven seconds remaining in the third round. Condit has long been open to a rematch and the two were actually supposed to fight again at UFC 158, but MacDonald was forced to withdraw due to an injury.
Now they’ll finally get the chance to face off again, though in the friendlier confines of the gym.
“I think Carlos and Rory just talked and the offer was there and the opportunity and the timing was right, so go for it,” Gibson said of how the arrangement came about.
MacDonald fights Mousasi at Bellator 206 at the SAP Center in San Jose, Calif., on Sept. 29.