Rory MacDonald, a Longtime UFC contender, won the Bellator welterweight title on Saturday, January 20’s Bellator 192, with a decision victory over Douglas Lima. But he’s also repeatedly shown interest in serving as an alternate in Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix.
The Heavyweight Grand Prix is featuring far larger men in Matt Mitrione, Roy Nelson, Chael Sonnen, Ryan Bader, Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal, Frank Mir, and Fedor Emelianenko. Despite Macdonald currently rules the welterweight roost, his longtime coach Firas Zahabi said, Rory MacDonald could thrive in this tournament and went on to predict that MacDonald would beat heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko.
“Well, Rory is in his prime, and Fedor is not. I think if Rory catches him on the button — and he will — it will be a great name for him to collect,” Zahabi told Fight Hub (h/t BloodyElbow).
“Rory has got that experience, has got that hunger. He’s in his prime now. Now’s the time to take those chances. If you asked me [about his joining a heavyweight tournament] two, three years ago, I would’ve said no. Now’s the right time. This is it.”
Fedor is currently involved in the Grand Prix, and MacDonald’s next fight will most likely be his first defense of the Bellator welterweight championship, as he needs much time to prepare for after undergoing a gruesome injury to his leg against Douglas Lima.
Grand heavyweight Prix is already scheduled and CEO Scott Coker doesn’t seem keen on letting his welterweight champ move up to heavyweight.
“As far as him fighting at heavyweight, the thing I love about Rory is he’s a real martial artist and the weight class issues doesn’t bother him,” Coker said on a recent episode of The MMA Hour. “But I think that we’ll probably stick to heavyweights or fighters that can actually make it over 205 pounds.”
Is this bout is something you would want to see at Bellator cage?