Rory MacDonald Retains, Advances to Grand Prix Semi-Finals
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, April 28, 2019
The Bellator Welterweight Championship was on the line Saturday night, when champion Rory MacDonald defended his title against challenger Jon Fitch in the final first-round matchup in the Welterweight World Grand Prix.
There were many questions heading into this fight on whether Macdonald would be able to put his loss to Gegard Mousasi behind him and stop the grinding wrestling style of Fitch, or if Fitch would be able to handle the pressure from the younger opponent.
The fight was back-and-forth at times and both fighters did a great job in using their strengths; Fitch was able to takedown the champion on multiple occasions and control him on the ground, and MacDonald was successful in closing the distance and landing his strikes when the two were standing up.
After five-rounds, the judges would decide who’d be walking out of SAP Center as the Bellator Welterweight Champion and advancing to the semi-finals. It was interesting to see how the judges would score the fight because although Fitch was able to take MacDonald down and control him on the ground, he didn’t land too many significant strikes while he had him in that position and MacDonald was the more aggressive fighter when the fight was standing up.
The judges ruled the fight a majority draw, with two-out-of-three judges scoring the fight 47-47 and one judge scoring the fight 48-46 in favor of Fitch.
As a result of the decision, MacDonald retains the Bellator Welterweight Championship and advances to the semi-finals of the Welterweight World Grand-Prix, where he'll defend his championship against Neiman Gracie at Bellator 222, which takes place on Friday, June 14th at Madison Square Garden.
Bellator 222 will also feature a 175lb catchweight fight between Dillon Danis and Max Humphrey, the Bellator Bantamweight Championship fight between champion Darrion Caldwell and Rizin Bantamweight Champion Kyoji Horiguchi, and Lyoto Machida vs Chael Sonnen in the main-event.
Photo and Video Credit: Bellator MMA and DAZN