Rory MacDonald came away on the winning end of his semi-final bout against Neiman Gracie at Bellator 222, putting him in line to fight Douglas Lima in the finals of the Welterweight Grand Prix. The problem is that the promotion eyed the bout to take place in September, as did MacDonald’s next opponent, Douglas Lima, but after having completed two fights within such a short time frame, MacDonald is putting his health first, far ahead of the plans and wishes of others (Transcript via MMA Fighting):
“I have to take some time and heal some things up after back-to-back fights and training camps,” MacDonald said at the Bellator 222 post-fight press conference.
“[September is] not realistic for me. I mean I wish I could make it come true. I had a feeling they would want that but it’s just not possible with what’s going on in my life right now. I need to take some time to heal from these fights, from these training camps, so I can be ready for a guy like Douglas.”
After being made aware of Rory MacDonald’s comments, Douglas Lima scoffed at MacDonald’s time table with a bit of peer pressure for MacDonald to expedite his return to the originally planned time frame:
“Four weeks rest, eight weeks camp!” Lima wrote on Twitter. “Come on now.”
MacDonald has his plans for when he looks to return, and his time frame will give both himself and even Lima more time to prepare for the Grand Prix finale:
“Like December maybe November,” MacDonald estimated for when he’d like to return to face Douglas Lima.
“When you’re training every day, you kind of have to have the eye of the tiger. It’s like eat, sleep, you’ve got to be like chewing on steel kind of thing for six weeks,” MacDonald described. “It hardens your body, hardens your mind.”
Who do you believe will win the Welterweight Grand Prix? Rory MacDonald or Douglas Lima?