RORY MACDONALD VS JON FITCH SET FOR APRIL BELLATOR EVENT
The Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix will continue to move along with the last quarterfinal bout to be reserved, and I’ll offer my thoughts on this brand 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 the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix when he chooses Jon Fitch at a yet-to-be-named event set for April 27 in San Jose, California. Marc Raimondi of MMAFighting.com broke the information. This is the fourth and final quarterfinal bout in the championship. Douglas Lima beat Andrey Koreshkov within their trilogy struggle and Nieman Gracie upset Ed Ruth in another quartefinal matchups completed thus far, together with all the Michael Page vs. Paul Daley struggle set to take place in February. The winner of MacDonald vs. Fitch will take on Gracie on that side of the bracket’s semifinals, while Lima will fight the winer of Page vs. Daley.
MacDonald (20-5) is 2-1 thus far in Bellator. In his first two Bellator fights, he seemed like one of the best fighters on the planet as he filed Daley and beat Lima over five rounds to win the welterweight title. He then moved up in his last bout when he took on Gegard Mousasi in his bid to be a rare Bellator double winner. However, MacDonald got defeated in that fight, losing through second-round TKO. MacDonald will have had six months between the Mousasi and Fitch fights, so he should be good to go health-wise. However, the fact that he took so much harm against Mousasi is worrisome. Then again, MacDonald was battling a weight class for the very first time. In welterweight, he’s clearly one of the very best on the planet, and he even owns a dominant win over present UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Fitch (31-7-1) has quietly made a run at the dusk of his profession. Now 40, Fitch is riding a five-fight win streak at the moment which comprises a dominant win over Daley in his Bellator debut. As well, Fitch holds notable wins over Jake Shields and Yushin Okami during his latest win streak, and he was the PFL welterweight champion before signing with Bellator. Since getting cut from the UFC in 2013, Fitch has gone 7-2 in WSOF, PFL and Bellator. He’s no longer one of the game’s elite welterweights like he had been a decade ago, but he has a good wrestling foundation that may get him his hand raised.
Having said that, this really is MacDonald’s struggle to lose. He should possess the takedown defense to keep the fight on the feet, and in the standup there’s no wonder MacDonald is the exceptional fighter. Fitch hasn’t won a fight by knockout since 2006, so he seems to have no path to success in this bout if he can’t get it into the ground. Even with the loss to Mousasi, I’d still peg MacDonald around a -500 preferred to defend his belt against Fitch and proceed on into another round of this championship.
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