Lima ‘Shocked’ But ‘Happy’ For MacDonald’s Recent Move To The PFL

A trilogy bout between two of the biggest names in MMA never got a chance to get its feet off the ground. When Rory MacDonald joined the Professional Fighters League, it left a void in Bellator’s plans for him and Douglas Lima.

The two fought against one another twice. MacDonald (21-6-1) beat Lima (32-7) at Bellator 192 to retain the Bellator Welterweight Title. A year later at Bellator 232 in October, Lima beat MacDonald for the Welterweight Title in the finals of the Welterweight Grand Prix. The two spoke after the fight, expressing an interest in a rematch. MacDonald’s departure ripped those plans up.

“I’m happy for him,” Lima told MMA Fighting. “I’m happy that he’s moving on and that he’s looking out for himself. I was definitely shocked and surprised that he moved over there but I guess he got a better deal. I’m happy for him and I’m happy we got to share those 50 minutes.”

In those 50 minutes, Lima and MacDonald competed in a methodical war. The first bout was all about avoiding the takedown game of both men, with MacDonald bleeding in the middle of it all. The second bout had a slower pace but saw Lima outsmart MacDonald. He avoided all of “The Red King’s” takedown attempts to secure the win.

Lima had a lot to learn from the first MacDonald fight. As time went on in the second round, Lima managed to find something within himself to get the ultimate advantage.

“I definitely learned (more on) the mental side of fighting,” Lima went on to say. “Rory was pretty much done after that fourth round and he still came back, got a quick takedown at the beginning of the round and won the fight. Just being able to push through those barriers in a fight is not for everybody. I really learned from him that night to keep fighting no matter what the circumstances.”

With MacDonald off of his mind, Lima is set to face off against Gegard Mousasi for the Bellator Middleweight Title. They were supposed to fight at Bellator 242 but it was postponed due to the coronavirus. Additionally, the PFL’s third season has been cancelled. With extra time, both fighters are looking for their next chance to fight.

With Scott Coker always looking to collaborate, could we end up seeing another bout between MacDonald and Lima? If the latter had his way, he’d look to take the win.

“We’ve had 50 minutes already in the cage and I definitely learned from that (first) fight,” Lima said. “I don’t think I’d ever lose to him again to be honest. It would definitely be good to have a trilogy to really make sure who’s the better fighter.

“You never know what’s gonna happen in the MMA world. We might cross each other’s paths in the future.”

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