MacDonald: September Not Possible for Lima Fight

Bellator Welterweight Champion Rory MacDonald is not willing to go through another quick turnaround before his Welterweight Grand Prix final bout against Douglas Lima.

MacDonald solidified his place in the final by defeating Neiman Gracie in the main event of Bellator 222. He will be facing Lima, who he won the Bellator 170-pound title from at Bellator 192 in January 2018 in a five-round war that could have gone either way.

Bellator President Scott Coker expressed a desire for the tournament final to take place in September, but MacDonald says he wants to heal his body and wait on the birth of his second child before getting ready to get back in the cage.

“I have to take some time and heal some things up after back-to-back fights and training camps,” MacDonald said at the post-fight press conference. “[September is] not realistic for me. I mean I wish I could make it come true. I had a feeling they would want that but it’s just not possible with what’s going on in my life right now. I need to take some time to heal from these fights, from these training camps, so I can be ready for a guy like Douglas.”

MacDonald added he’d rather look at November or December for a possible date for the fight.

MacDonald battled Jon Fitch to a draw in his first-round bout of the tournament at Bellator 220 on April 27, but he advanced to the semifinals because he retained the championship. After that fight, MacDonald commented that he had lost his killer instinct and questioned his motives for fighting, alarming some in the MMA community at the quick turnaround he’d have to defend against Gracie.

Lima, meanwhile, defeated Andrey Koreshkov at Bellator 206 in September before beating the previously-undefeated Michael “Venom” Page in the semifinals at Bellator 221 in May.

Lima was not pleased with MacDonald’s comments, but MacDonald stood his ground.

“When you’re training every day, you kind of have to have the eye of the tiger,” MacDonald said. “It’s like eat, sleep, you’ve got to be like chewing on steel kind of thing for six weeks. It hardens your body, hardens your mind. Something about that just gets you in that mind frame of just being able to push through low points where if you were just kind of training so-so, in good shape, you might slack off a little bit.”

The winner of the Grand Prix will both be the Bellator welterweight champion and earn a $1 million grand prize.

Original Story: MMAFighting

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