When the fifth round ended in the main event at Bellator 232, Rory MacDonald knew he was in for a nail-biter decision as he awaited the judges’ scorecards to be tallied.
While not as action packed as their first fight. MacDonald battled Douglas Lima over 25 minutes in their rematch with the Bellator welterweight title up for grabs with the winner also being crowned the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix champion with a $1 million grand prize.
In the end, MacDonald lost a unanimous decision to Lima and while he honestly felt the fight could have gone either way, he doesn’t feel there was an egregious error made in the scoring.
“It’s always so hard to judge in the moment,” MacDonald said post-fight at Bellator 232. “How I was feeling is I thought I was up two [rounds] to one by the third. Fourth [round], I thought I was up. I really thought I was doing well but he landed great shots, too. Every round was tight. It’s not like oh for sure I won that round so maybe I should have acted a little more hungry in there earlier. I went into the fifth and at that point time was on his side I think.
“I knew it was tight. It was a close fight every round, like as I said. It’s hard to say how the judges are going to look at it. In the moment it can feel different from how it looks from an outside perspective so a lot goes on in there really fast.”
As far as the mistakes he made that allowed the fight to go the other way, MacDonald acknowledges that he probably should have been a little more offensive minded but he didn’t put the pressure on Lima enough over the course of five rounds.
“I had good moments. It was close every, single round,” MacDonald explained. “What I feel I should have done is put the gas on a little more. I felt like when I had good moments, I backed off, let him recover and I just gave too much leeway instead of having that gas pedal on a little earlier. I felt comfortable with where I was in the fight. I felt confident, maybe more confident than I should have been in the scoring.
“The rounds just got away from me. Every round was tight though. I’m not too down about it. Just obviously wish I could have done a little more during the fight.”
The win allowed Lima to avenge his prior defeat to MacDonald from 2018 but now that the two welterweights are tied in the series, the former champion believes a trilogy could happen at any time.
“It’s very likely,” MacDonald responded when asked about a trilogy. “I mean we had two close fights. He won one, I won one. It’s kind of inevitable that we’ll probably fight again.”
First things first, the 30-year-old Canadian has to sit down at the negotiating table with Bellator to hammer out a new contract.
MacDonald walked into the cage against Lima on the final fight of his current deal with the Viacom-owned promotion but it appears he’s confident that he will return to Bellator when it’s all said and done.
“I wouldn’t say no. If they wanted to do it, they could do it,” MacDonald said about immediately facing Lima again.
“First I’ve got to re-sign. My contract expired so we’ve got to deal with that situation but if they want to give me a title shot, sure.”