The Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix will continue to proceed together with the past quarterfinal bout to be reserved, and I’ll offer my thoughts on this new matchup in today’s 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 this Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix when he chooses Jon Fitch at a yet-to-be-named event set for April 27 at San Jose, California. Marc Raimondi of all MMAFighting.com broke the information. This is the fourth and final quarterfinal bout in the championship. Douglas Lima conquer Andrey Koreshkov within their trilogy struggle and Nieman Gracie upset Ed Ruth at another quartefinal matchups completed so far, together with the Michael Page vs. Paul Daley fight set to take place in February. The winner of MacDonald vs. Fitch will take on Gracie on the 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 seemed like one of the best fighters in the world as he filed Daley and beat Lima over five rounds to win the welterweight title. Then he moved up in his final bout when he took on Gegard Mousasi in his bid to become a rare Bellator double winner. However, MacDonald got crushed in that fight, losing via second-round TKO. MacDonald will have had six months off between the Mousasi and Fitch fights, so he ought to be good to go health-wise. But the fact he took so much damage against Mousasi is painful. Then again, MacDonald was fighting a weight class for the very first time. At welterweight, he’s definitely one of 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 career. Currently 40, Fitch is riding a five-fight win streak at the minute which comprises a dominant win over Daley within his Bellator debut. At the same time, Fitch holds notable wins over Jake Shields and Yushin Okami during his latest win series, and he had been the PFL welterweight champion before signing with Bellator. Since becoming cut from the UFC in 2013, Fitch has gone 7-2 in WSOF, PFL and Bellator. He’s no longer among the game’s elite welterweights such as he was a decade ago, but he has a good wrestling base that may get him his hand raised.
Having said that, this really is MacDonald’s fight to lose. He must possess the takedown defense to maintain the fight on the feet, and at the standup there’s no question MacDonald is the exceptional fighter. Fitch hasn’t won a fight by knockout since 2006, therefore he appears to have no path to success in this bout if he can’t get it into the floor. Even with the loss to Mousasi, I’d nevertheless peg MacDonald around a -500 favorite to defend his belt against Fitch and move on to the next round of this tournament.
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