There will be a title fight when Bellator returns to Madison Square Garden on June 14th, as reported by ESPN Thursday.
Right on the heels of the announcement of Chael Sonnen vs. Lyoto Machida announced to be taking place at the event, it has now been revealed that the winner of Rory MacDonald vs. Jon Fitch scheduled for April 27 in San Jose California will be taking on Neiman Gracie on this Madison Square Garden card in the semifinals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix. The other semifinals bout in the Welterweight Grand Prix will feature former Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima vs. Michael Page.
Neiman Gracie earned his ticket to the semifinals with a fourth-round submission victory over Ed Ruth, handing Ruth his first defeat in MMA.
Rory MacDonald will be entering Madison Square Garden looking to enter 2019 better than he left 2018, with MacDonald’s last outing being a second-round TKO defeat a Bellator 206 to Gegard Mousassi, with MacDonald attempting to win the middleweight championship and hold two titles simultaneously.
But Rory MacDonald does hold a victory in 2018 against a man whom he could very well meet in the finals of the Grand Prix, Douglas Lima, should MacDonald get past Jon Fitch in April and Neiman Gracie at this event, and Lima gets past Michael Venom Page.
Because of the quick turnaround between the MacDonald fight and the Neiman Gracie fight, Bellator is prepared for either Fitch or MacDonald to not being cleared to compete for the Madison Square Garden card. If that should happen, the ESPN report states that Grand Prix alternate Lorenz Larkin may be inserted into the tournament to face Neiman Gracie instead.
Whom do you believe will face Neiman Gracie on this MSG card? Reigning welterweight champion Rory MacDonald or Jon Fitch?