Rory MacDonald ‘Very Confident’ He’ll Finish Jon Fitch At Bellator 220

Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald is extremely confident of a win over former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch. The Canadian will make his first appearance in the promotion’s Welterweight Grand Prix at Bellator 220, which takes place April 27 in San Jose, California. In Fitch, he’ll have an experienced wrestler to deal with, and MacDonald […]

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Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald is extremely confident of a win over former UFC title challenger Jon Fitch.

The Canadian will make his first appearance in the promotion’s Welterweight Grand Prix at Bellator 220, which takes place April 27 in San Jose, California. In Fitch, he’ll have an experienced wrestler to deal with, and MacDonald has no plans on taking the fight to the ground. Instead, he believes he will finish the fight early on.

“He’s a good wrestler, but he’s tough. He can throw big punches, but he likes to grind guys out, be on top, smother them,” MacDonald told Toronto Sun. “I want to keep my distance with kickboxing, and keep it standing. I don’t really want to be taken down or be pressed up against the cage wrestling. I want to be the one controlling the action.

“I’m very confident I can finish this fight in the first couple of rounds. But it’s a five-round fight and I’ll be fighting patiently, but at the same time hunting tactically.”

Eyeing A Rematch

The winner of the fight will go on to face Neiman Gracie in the semifinals of the grand prix. On the other side of the bracket, former Bellator champion Douglas Lima takes on Michael “Venom” Page in the other semifinal.

MacDonald believes Lima will win. And although he defeated the Brazilian to win the Bellator welterweight title, he would be interested in a rematch.

“I think you always have something to prove if you’re a hungry fighter. It was a decision win. He did a lot of damage to my leg. I think it would be an interesting rematch.”

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Bellator MMA Signs UFC Veteran Leslie Smith

Bellator MMA continues to bolster their women’s 145-pound division with their latest signing of veteran Leslie Smith. It has been almost two years since Smith, 36, has competed in a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) contest. But the UFC vet and potential union organizer has signed a multi-fight contract to fight for the Viacom-owned promotion. […]

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Bellator MMA continues to bolster their women’s 145-pound division with their latest signing of veteran Leslie Smith.

It has been almost two years since Smith, 36, has competed in a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) contest. But the UFC vet and potential union organizer has signed a multi-fight contract to fight for the Viacom-owned promotion. Smith confirmed the signing following Yahoo! Sports’ initial report.

Smith will call the women’s featherweight division home in Bellator. She will have her sights firmly set on the promotion’s champion Julia Budd.

The UFC decided to let Smith go without the fighter having to fulfill the last fight on her contract. It is widely believed “The Peacemaker” was released from the UFC because she was championing the Project Spearhead movement that would create a union of sorts for the fighters.

Although she stills feels passionate about fighters’ rights, Smith feels that she no longer needs to be preoccupied with those matters because Bellator treats their fighters much better.

“What I’m so excited about signing with Bellator for is that I do not think they do not have that climate of fear that was present in the UFC,” Smith said. “They’re a company that cares. They listen to their fighters. They put their fighters first and they give them the opportunity to have sponsors and there is a lot of expression that can happen inside those deals with the sponsors.”

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Scott Coker Comments On Rory MacDonald Possibly Missing Bellator 222

Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald will defend his title against Jon Fitch at Bellator 220. MacDonald and Fitch’s bout takes place as part of the promotion’s Welterweight Grand Prix. The winner of the contest will advance to the semifinals against Neiman Gracie at Bellator 222 on June 14. However, that’s a quick turnaround for the […]

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Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald will defend his title against Jon Fitch at Bellator 220.

MacDonald and Fitch’s bout takes place as part of the promotion’s Welterweight Grand Prix. The winner of the contest will advance to the semifinals against Neiman Gracie at Bellator 222 on June 14. However, that’s a quick turnaround for the MacDonald vs. Fitch winner, who fight on April 27.

Speaking at the Bellator NYC press conference this week, President Scott Coker was asked about the possibility of either MacDonald or Fitch being unable to medically compete so quickly. Here’s what he had to say:

“You’re right, I don’t want to think about that at this point,” Coker admitted. “In all fairness, we’ve been through this before. When I was working at K1 you had what they call Survivor Rule, so, if one of the fighters gets hurt and can’t advance, then the survivor would continue on in the tournament.

“But, you know, we’re gonna keep all of our options open. So, if one of the fighters can’t continue, then we’ll just deal with it at that time and we’ll make the best decision possible. In talking to both the athletes, they both wanted a quick turnaround. So this works into their favor as well, is what they’re telling me.”

MacDonald remains undefeated at welterweight under the Bellator banner. Unfortunately for “The Red King,” he failed to become a Bellator double champion in September against Gegard Mousasi. He was finished in the second round via TKO.

Now, MacDonald returns against Fitch at 170 pounds. The 41-year-old is currently on a five-fight win streak from fights in both Bellator and World Series Of Fighting (WSOF).

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Ryan Bader Inks New Multi-Year Deal With Bellator MMA

Bellator double champ Ryan Bader has re-upped with the promotion for several more years. MMA Fighting reports that Bader has signed a new exclusive multi-year deal with Bellator, for whom he currently reigns as the heavyweight and light heavyweight champion. The 35-year-old initially signed with Bellator back in 2017. He has yet to be defeated […]

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Bellator double champ Ryan Bader has re-upped with the promotion for several more years.

MMA Fighting reports that Bader has signed a new exclusive multi-year deal with Bellator, for whom he currently reigns as the heavyweight and light heavyweight champion. The 35-year-old initially signed with Bellator back in 2017.

He has yet to be defeated under the promotion’s banner and is currently on a seven-fight win streak. In his last outing, Bader defeated Fedor Emelianenko at Bellator 214 to capture the vacant Bellator heavyweight title. With the victory, he became the first double champ in the company’s history.

Bader won the Bellator light heavyweight throne from Phil Davis back in June of 2017 via split decision. He has looked tremendous since joining the Scott Coker-led promotion and looks to continue his amazing run after inking his new deal.

Bader is tentatively slated to face fellow UFC veteran Cheick Kongo in his next title defense. A date has not been officially confirmed for the bout.

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Dillon Danis Returns At June’s Bellator 222

Polarizing Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Dillon Danis returns at the upcoming Bellator 222 event. During today’s Bellator NYC press conference (via MMA Fighting), the promotion confirmed that Danis’ second Bellator bout against Max Humphrey was moved from Bellator 221 in Chicago to June 14’s Bellator 222 in New York City. The announcement confirmed a prior report […]

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Polarizing Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace Dillon Danis returns at the upcoming Bellator 222 event.

During today’s Bellator NYC press conference (via MMA Fighting), the promotion confirmed that Danis’ second Bellator bout against Max Humphrey was moved from Bellator 221 in Chicago to June 14’s Bellator 222 in New York City. The announcement confirmed a prior report from ESPN.

Danis has been out of action since he submitted Kyle Walker in his professional MMA and Bellator debut last April. He’s been on the sidelines due to him serving a suspension for his role in the infamous UFC 229 post-fight brawl. Danis was rumored to have incited the brawl by hurling anti-Muslin slurs at Khabib Nurmagomedov, something he has vehemently denied.

Coming Off Of Suspension

Either way, Danis was handed a seven-month suspension and a $7,500 fine for his role in the brawl. All told, Danis has made more headlines (many more) for his friendship with former UFC champion Conor McGregor. It could be stated a fighter has never made so many waves with a pro record of 1-0, in fact. He’ll look to add a second win to his record against Humphrey. As long as Danis has been inactive, Humphrey needs a win even worse.

He was last seen getting knocked out in 16 seconds at KC Fighting Alliance 29 in August 2018.

Fan favorite Heather Hardy was also announced for the event. The New York-born Hardy’s opponent was not announced. She was last seen winning a decision over Ana Julaton at Bellator 194. Prior to that victory, she lost an infamously bloody battle to Kristina Williams at Bellator 185. Since her last Bellator fight, Hardy returned to her previous home of boxing. There, she won the NABF and WBO female featherweight titles.

Bellator 222 will go down from Madison Square Garden in New York City on June 14, 2019. Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen will headline the event. Here is a full rundown of the card as it currently stands:

  • Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen
  • TBD vs. Neiman Gracie – for Bellator welterweight title
  • Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey
  • Heather Hardy vs. TBD

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Welterweight Title Fight Headed To Bellator 220

Bellator MMA will stage a welterweight title fight in the promotion’s return to New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 14. The most unique feature of Bellator’s Welterweight Grand Prix is that the champion, Rory MacDonald, will find himself defending his title throughout the tournament. He will defend his 170-pound strap against Jon Fitch in […]

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Bellator MMA will stage a welterweight title fight in the promotion’s return to New York’s Madison Square Garden on June 14.

The most unique feature of Bellator’s Welterweight Grand Prix is that the champion, Rory MacDonald, will find himself defending his title throughout the tournament.

He will defend his 170-pound strap against Jon Fitch in a quarterfinal matchup at Bellator 220 on April 27.

The winner of that contest will have a semifinal date with Nieman Gracie at Bellator 222 on June 14. (ESPN first reported).

Gracie is a BJJ specialist who earned his bid in the semifinal round by defeating Ed Ruth via fourth-round submission. The other semifinal bout is Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page. They are scheduled to fight in Chicago on May 11.

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