We have a change of headliner for Bellator’s return to Madison Square Garden, as MacDonald vs Gracie Welterweight GP bout replaces Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida.
Since the legalisation of MMA in the state of New York, most American promotions have been trying to book an annual event at Madison Square Garden, one of NY’s most iconic arenas. 2019 will be no different, with Bellator MMA booking there event in for June 14th.
The original headliner was set to be Lyoto Machida vs Chael Sonnen, with the 170lb grand-prix semi-final set to be the co-main event. However, Bellator announced that the fight between champion Rory MacDonald and grappling ace Neiman Gracie would be the marque fight on the card.
Gracie advanced in the tournament after a decisive finish over Ed Ruth, and MacDonald controversially advanced after a draw against Jon Fitch. Many felt that had won the fight, adding to the controversy. The winner of this fight will face former champion Douglas Lima in the final.
Bellator 222 also features the aforementioned Machida vs Sonnen, a rematch between bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell & RIZIN champion Kyoji Horiguchi and Dillon Danis vs Max Humphery at a 175lb catchweight.
Do you agree with Bellator’s decision? Tell us in the comments!