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Rory MacDonald shuts down September return for rematch with Lima

Following his win against Neiman Gracie Friday night, Rory MacDonald is slated to face Douglas Lima in the finals of Bellator’s welterweight grand prix tournament. However, MacDonald and the promotion’s president Scott Coker seem to have different ideas as to when this bout should take place.

Coker had said post-fight that he was looking to wrap up the welterweight tournament in September, with MacDonald and Lima set to rematch. MacDonald, however, disagrees.

“It’s unrealistic for me,’ said MacDonald when asked about Bellator’s intended time frame. “I had a feeling they would want that, but it’s just not possible with what’s going on in my life right now.”

As the Bellator’s current welterweight champion, MacDonald has now fought twice in the past two months as a part of the promotion’s welterweight tournament. Both of these bouts went the full five-round distance, and the “Red King” hopes to have time to heal from these wars before his rematch with Lima.

“I need to take some time to heal from these fights, from these training camps,” MacDonald said, “so I can be ready for a guy like Douglas.”

MacDonald and Lima at Bellator 222. Photo via MMA Junkie

Lima and MacDonald met in the Bellator cage in January of 2018, with MacDonald claiming the unanimous decision win after a grueling, back-and-fourth contest.

“I don’t feel surprised that I’m fighting Douglas. I knew he was a strong competitor when I was up against him, and I knew we would be matched up again down the road,” MacDonald explained. “I know I’m gonna need to be at my best…”

MacDonald’s urge to fight was questioned after his draw with Jon Fitch in April, where he revealed that his newfound faith was making it “hard to pull the trigger” in the cage. After beating Gracie on Friday, however, the champion insists that this is no longer an issue.

“I’m not struggling with that anymore,” assures MacDonald, who will be looking for a finish against Lima. “It’s been awhile, it seems like, since I’ve gotten a finish, and I’ll be looking to bring it to him.”

How will Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald 2 go? Will Lima reclaim Bellator gold, or will the “Red King” continue his reign? Let us know in the comments!

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