In October, Rory MacDonald lost his Bellator welterweight title to Douglas Lima at Bellator 232. The fight was the culmination of Bellator’s welterweight grand prix and was a rematch of their 2018 fight which saw MacDonald claim the welterweight title from Lima. With the two stars having split their pair of bouts, a trilogy fight between the two seemed inevitable. That is, until MacDonald left Bellator.
The rematch against Lima was the last fight on MacDonald’s contract with Bellator and last month the now former champion decided to part ways with the organization, opting to sign with the Professional Fighters League instead. It was a surprising move for MacDonald and one that would seemingly derail the possibility of closing out the series. Except, perhaps it won’t.
Speaking with MMAJunkie ahead of PFL final event in 2019, MacDonald says he could still see the trilogy happening with Lima at some point in the future.
“It is what it is, you know?” MacDonald said. “Who’s to say we won’t meet up later down the road? We’re not in the same organization at the moment, but I still see myself fighting for a long time, and maybe he is too. You never know where our paths cross again. I don’t worry about it too much. Competition, he won one, I won one, c’est la vie. On to the next.”
MacDonald is only 30 years old and Lima is only 31 so there certainly is no guarantee the two won’t find themselves under the same banner one again at some point. Also, Bellator has proven to be very willing to co-promote events, having done a series of them with Rizin in 2019. At the moment though, that’s all pure speculation. In the meantime, MacDonald says he’s focused on his time in PFL and that he opted to join PFL because it made the most sense for him once he tested out free agency.
“Bellator had the opportunity to, you know, not have me as a free agent,” MacDonald said. “But I think just between this organization and wanting to take the risk on free agency, there was discussion, and obviously Bellator, they had their interest. But when it came time that I was able to talk to other promotions, I wanted to play the field. I wanted to see what options were out there, and the best option out for me was PFL.”
PFL just concluded their year-long $1 million grand prix that saw six fighters take home $1 million dollar prizes for winning their respective tournaments. MacDonald will almost certainly have the same opportunity presented to him next year.
Results. PFL 10 results: Kayla Harrison dominates, Ray Cooper III punches way to $1M prize.
FOTY. MMA Fighting’s 2019 Fight of the Year: Israel Adesanya vs. Kelvin Gastelum.
Notorious. Conor McGregor’s head coach promises ‘this is the best I’ve seen him’ ahead of UFC 246.
Revenge. Bellator champ-champ Ryan Bader calls out RIZIN 205 counterpart Jiri Prochazka.
Drop. UFC lightweight vet Edson Barboza to make featherweight drop.
Bellator and Rizin Coffee Talk.
The A-Side Live Chat.
5 New Year’s resolutions for the UFC.
UFC decade in review.
Masvidal visiting a mezcal factory.
MMA fighter confessions.
UFC Unfiltered. Interviews with Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Joseph Benavidez.
Believe You Me. Discussing the new year with Bisping and his wife.
SOCIAL MEDIA BOUILLABAISSE
Jan 1st, last heavy spar today before going to Vegas. Can honestly say this is the best i've seen him and i wasn't sure that was possible to do 6 months ago. You guys are in for a real treat, i'm just glad to have a good seat! #UFC246— Coach Kavanagh (@John_Kavanagh) January 1, 2020
Rampage setting goals.
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Much love to my team and family and sponsors,defeat is a hard pill to swallow... but it’s part of the job. Hate letting my people and fans down,maybe this won’t be my last loss but it will be the last time i defeat myself. I’m gonna Document my weight loss Journey,if you feel uncomfortable with your weight do it with me. Tag me in your posts of you working out and eating clean. Love you all @hansmolenkamp @tikighosn @pauloghitmanherrera @bobbythecoach @its_kalani_brah @2dumb2die @hansmolenkamp @monsterenergy @cbdmd.usa @qualityenvironmentalinc @hansmolenkamp
Fighters celebrating the New Year.
Happy New Year pic.twitter.com/VDjngNlGEb— Max Holloway (@BlessedMMA) January 1, 2020
Get That # 2020Vizion & Keep That Shit Goin' # andstill Champ Shit Only™️ Effort x Consistency Is Confidence # SnapIntuit pic.twitter.com/dMtXbFckW5— Tony Ferguson (@TonyFergusonXT) January 1, 2020
2020 about the money! 2020 don’t be a dummy! 2020 is funny but seriously 2020 is hungry! 365 days of consistent growth started this morning! I won’t be fazed. I am ready and focused. I know what we need and want. I know how and who to help us get it. Step 1 was chill— Platinum Mike Perry (@PlatinumPerry) January 1, 2020
Step 2 #GO
Happy New Year to everyone around the world!— Michael Chiesa (@MikeMav22) January 1, 2020
Happy New Years everybody #2020 is the year to bend the knee to Triple C. #thegoodlife pic.twitter.com/ftfi2Jxca2— Henry Cejudo (@HenryCejudo) January 1, 2020
Happy New Years! #happynewyear2020— #OnAmission4Gold (@KelvinGastelum) January 1, 2020
Happy New Year!— Jan Blachowicz (@JanBlachowicz) January 1, 2020
Enjoy your life guys! pic.twitter.com/Ah7dE44Wrp
FELIZ ANO NOVO!!— Rafael dos Anjos (@RdosAnjosMMA) January 1, 2020
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
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What a decade!! Definitely an amazing 10 years...from my first fight in the @ufc to 7 main events & and 2 title shots! Met some amazing people along the way. New additions to my family (marriages, nieces, & nephews)! I honestly can’t wait for what lies ahead!! LETS GOOOOO!! #blessed #thankful #happynewyear
Big time party.
Meanwhile, @JairRozenstruik hosted the New Year’s Eve party in Paramaribo, the capital of Suriname, today and this was the reception he got: pic.twitter.com/wEbo1Ju6LY— Ariel Helwani (@arielhelwani) January 1, 2020
Chandler feeling good.
Marc Diakiese (14-3) vs. Stevie Ray (23-9); UFC London, March 21.
Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.
Will we ever see Lima-MacDonald III?
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