MacDonald: Dragging Gracie Into Deep Water At Bellator 222
On Friday June 14th, Bellator returns to Madison Square Garden for Bellator 222, headlined by Rory MacDonald’s return to the Bellator cage.
MacDonald, two months after a majority draw at Bellator 220 against Jon Fitch, has taken a near immediate fight with fellow Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix Semi-Finalist, Neiman Gracie.
“It’s an honor,” MacDonald told FIGHT SPORTS on Wednesday at Bellator 222 media day. “It’s a massive blessing, what a quick turnaround, I’m here at Madison Square Garden in New York City, I’m feeling very blessed to be here.”
While Gracie told FIGHT SPORTS that he believed Jon Fitch won the Bellator 220 quarterfinal fight against MacDonald, the rules of the Grand Prix dictated that the champion would move on to the next round.
Gracie, who went through Ed Ruth in emphatic fashion at Bellator 213, carries the Gracie legacy into Madison Square Garden with his cousin Robson, who will compete on Bellator 222’s prelim card.
“I think my conditioning and my experience are going to be a big factor heading into this fight,” MacDonald told FIGHT SPORTS.
“Let’s see if he can handle being in deep water with an experienced guy.”
MacDonald and Gracie Headline Bellator 222 from Madison Square Garden on Friday June 14th on DAZN, for the full card look below.
Bellator 222 Main Card:
Welterweight World Grand Prix Semifinal Title Bout: Rory MacDonald (20-5-1) vs. Neiman Gracie (9-0)
Light Heavyweight Co-Main Event Bout: Lyoto Machida (25-8) vs. Chael Sonnen (31-16-1)
175-Pound Catchweight Bout: Dillon Danis (1-0) vs. Max Humphrey (3-2)
Bantamweight Bout: Ricky Bandejas (11-2) vs. Patrick Mix (10-0)
Featherweight Bout: Eduardo Dantas (21-6) vs. Juan Archuleta (22-1)
Bantamweight World Title Bout: Darrion Caldwell (13-2) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (27-2)
Featherweight Bout: Aaron Pico (4-2) vs. Adam Borics (12-0)
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Heather Hardy (2-1) vs. Taylor Turner (3-5)
Women’s Flyweight Bout: Valerie Loureda (1-0) vs. Larkyn Dasch (0-1)
Welterweight Bout: Robson Gracie Jr. (1-0) vs. Oscar Vera (Pro Debut)
Bantamweight Bout: Mike Kimbel (2-1) vs. Sebastian Ruiz (2-2)
175-Pound Catchweight Bout: Haim Gozali (10-6) vs. Gustavo Wurlitzer (22-22, 1 NC)
Women’s 112-Pound Catchweight Bout: Rena Kubota (8-2) vs. Lindsay VanZandt (5-1)
Middleweight Bout: Phil Hawes (4-2) vs. Michael Wilcox (6-3)
Lightweight Bout: Marcus Surin (5-1) vs. Nekruz Mirkhojaev (4-2)
Flyweight Bout: Brandon Medina (Pro Debut) vs. Brandon Polcare (1-2)
165-Pound Catchweight Bout: Kastriot Xhema (2-3) vs. Whitney Jean Francois (2-6-1)
Featherweight Bout: John Beneduce (2-2) vs. Kenny Rivera (2-1)