The Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix will continue to move along with the past quarterfinal bout to be booked, and I’ll offer my thoughts on this new matchup in the present MMA odds and ends.
Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch, Bellator
Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald will put his belt on the line from the quarterfinals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix if he chooses Jon Fitch at a yet-to-be-named event set for April 27 at San Jose, California. Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com broke the news. This is the fourth and final quarterfinal bout in the tournament. Douglas Lima conquer Andrey Koreshkov within their trilogy fight and Nieman Gracie upset Ed Ruth at the other quartefinal matchups completed thus far, with the Michael Page vs. Paul Daley struggle set to take place in February. The winner of MacDonald vs. Fitch will take on Gracie on that side of the bracket’s semifinals, while Lima will fight the winer of Page vs. Daley.
MacDonald (20-5) is 2-1 so far in Bellator. In his first two Bellator fights, he looked like one of the best fighters on the planet as he submitted Daley and beat Lima more than five rounds to win the welterweight title. He then moved up in his last bout when he took on Gegard Mousasi in his bid to be a rare Bellator double winner. However, MacDonald got defeated in that fight, losing via second-round TKO. MacDonald will have had six months off between the Mousasi and Fitch fights, therefore he ought to be good to go health-wise. However, the fact that he took so much damage against Mousasi is painful. Then again, MacDonald was fighting a weight class for the very first time. In welterweight, he’s clearly among the best in the world, and he owns a dominant win over current UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Fitch (31-7-1) has made a run in the twilight of his profession. Now 40, Fitch is riding a five-fight win streak at the moment which includes a dominant win over Daley in his Bellator debut. As well, Fitch holds noteworthy wins over Jake Shields and Yushin Okami throughout his latest win series, and he was the PFL welterweight champion before signing with Bellator. Since becoming cut from the UFC at 2013, Fitch has gone 7-2 in WSOF, PFL and Bellator. He is no longer one of the sport’s elite welterweights like he had been a decade ago, but he has a good wrestling base that may get him his hand raised.
That being said, this really is MacDonald’s fight to lose. He should have the takedown defense to maintain the fight on the toes, and at the standup there is no wonder MacDonald is the exceptional fighter. Fitch hasn’t won a fight by knockout since 2006, so he seems to have no route to victory in this bout if he can not get it into the floor. Even with the loss to Mousasi, I’d nevertheless peg MacDonald about a -500 favorite to defend his belt against Fitch and proceed on to another round of this championship.
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