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Rory MacDonald issues statement following Bellator 206 loss: ‘I have zero excuses’

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Rory MacDonald
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Rory MacDonald knows he laid an egg on Saturday.

The Bellator welterweight champion was attempting to become the first fighter in promotional history to hold two belts simultaneously when he challenged middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi in the main event of Bellator 206 at SAP Center in San Jose, Calif. Mousasi dominated their duel before finishing MacDonald with ground-and-pound in round two.

On Sunday, MacDonald took to Twitter to express disappointment in his own performance and provide an update on his status.

“Last night was a tough one for me, unfortunately I didn’t mentally show up ready to take on a competitive fight and froze in the cage,” MacDonald wrote. “In this sport you pay a high price if you’re not dialed in and ready to go. I have zero excuses, Gegard was a fantastic champion last night.”

This marked MacDonald’s first loss since debuting with Bellator in May of last year. He submitted Paul Daley at Bellator 179 and followed that up by winning a five-round unanimous decision over Douglas Lima at Bellator 192 to claim the promotion’s 170-pound title. Rather than schedule his first defense, MacDonald instead made the decision to go up in weight to pursue Mousasi’s title.

Up next for MacDonald, he is booked to compete in the eight-man Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix where he will also be defending his title throughout should he be successful in advancing through the bracket. He will first meet one-time UFC title challenger and former World Series of Fighting champion Jon Fitch in the quarter-finals on a date to be determined.