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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 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 in the quarterfinals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix when he takes on Jon Fitch at a yet-to-be-named event set for April 27 in San Jose, California. Marc Raimondi of all MMAFighting.com broke the news. This is the fourth and final quarterfinal bout in the tournament. Douglas Lima beat Andrey Koreshkov within their trilogy fight and Nieman Gracie upset Ed Ruth in another quartefinal matchups completed so far, 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 that side of the bracket’s semifinals, while Lima will fight the winer of Page vs. Daley.
MacDonald (20-5) is 2-1 so much in Bellator. In his first two Bellator fights, he seemed like one of the best fighters on the planet as he filed Daley and then beat Lima more than five rounds to win the welterweight title. He then moved up in weight in his final bout when he took on Gegard Mousasi in his bid to be a rare Bellator double winner. However, MacDonald got crushed in that struggle, losing via second-round TKO. MacDonald will have had six months off between the Mousasi and Fitch fights, therefore he ought to be good to go health-wise. But the fact he took so much harm against Mousasi is painful. Then again, MacDonald was fighting a weight class for the very first time. In welterweight, he is definitely one of the very best on the planet, and he owns a dominant win over present UFC welterweight champion Tyron Woodley.
Fitch (31-7-1) has made a run at the dusk of his profession. Now 40, Fitch is riding a five-fight win streak at the minute which comprises a dominant win over Daley in his Bellator debut. As well, Fitch holds noteworthy wins over Jake Shields and Yushin Okami throughout 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 is no longer one of the game’s elite welterweights such as he was a decade ago, but he has a good wrestling foundation that may get him his hands raised.
Having said that, this is MacDonald’s struggle to lose. He must possess the takedown defense to maintain the fight on the feet, and in the standup there’s no question MacDonald is the superior fighter. Fitch hasn’t won a fight by knockout since 2006, so he appears to have no path to success in this bout if he can not get it into the ground. Despite the loss to Mousasi, I would nevertheless peg MacDonald about a -500 favorite to defend his belt against Fitch and move on into the next round of this tournament.
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