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Morning Report: Rory MacDonald says that even though he left Bellator for PFL, trilogy fight with Douglas Lima still possible

Cynthia Vance, MMA Fighting

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.


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Thanks for reading and see y’all tomorrow.



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