Bellator 222: MacDonald vs Gracie Headlines MSG

Giancarlo Aulino
BarnBurner Sports Writer


Friday, June 14, 2019

Bellator returns to the world’s most famous arena, Madison Square Garden, tonight with an absolutely stacked card live on DAZN. The card features plenty of the Bellator rising stars like Valerie Loureda, Aaron Pico, and Dillon Danis, and recognizable names like Chael Sonnen, Lyoto Machida, and Rory MacDonald all competing on the card.


There will also be a highly anticipated Bantamweight bout as Bellator Bantamweight champion Darrion Caldwell defends his championship against the reigning Rizin Bantamweight champion Kyoji Horiguchi in a rematch of their New Years Eve bout, which saw Horiguchi defeat Caldwell by submission.












Bellator Welterweight Championship: Rory MacDonald (c) vs Neiman Gracie

Rory MacDonald returns to the Bellator cage less than two months after his controversial draw with Jon Fitch in the final first round bout in the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. During MacDonald’s post-fight interview, he alluded to his performance being a result of not having the feeling he once had and in way gave the impression that his MMA career could potentially be soon coming to a close.


MacDonald is going to have to use his advantage in striking if he wants to win this fight and keep the fight away from the ground, where Gracie would have an advantage in terms of grappling and submissions.


Neiman Gracie is currently undefeated in his MMA career, 9-0, and is coming into this fight following an impressive submission victory over college wrestling standout Ed Ruth in his first round matchup and will look to continue that as he looks to capture the Bellator Welterweight championship against his toughest challenge yet.


Neiman Gracie is looking to take advantage of this title opportunity that was awarded to his side of the bracket and add another championship to the Gracie family’s legacy in MMA.


Former Bellator Welterweight champion Douglas Lima will be keeping an eye on this fight as he will fight the winner in the finals of the Welterweight Grand Prix.  Lima will likely want MacDonald to retain against Gracie because it would set up a rematch of their bout at Bellator 192, which saw MacDonald win by unanimous decision.


Similar to the Heavyweight Grand Prix, the winner will be awarded a Grand Prix championship belt as well the Bellator Welterweight championship.


It’ll be interesting to see how this fight plays out but one thing that is certain is that this card has the potential to be one of the promotions greatest events.



Full Bellator 220 card:

Welterweight Championship bout: Rory MacDonald (c) vs. Neiman Gracie

Light-Heavyweight bout: Lyoto Machida vs. Chael Sonnen

175lb Cathchweight bout: Dillon Danis vs. Max Humphrey

Bantamweight bout: Ricky Bandejas vs. Patrick Mix

Featherweight bout: Eduardo Dantas vs. Juan Archuleta

Bellator Bantamweight Championship bout: Darrion Caldwell (c) vs. Kyoji Horiguchi (c-Rizin)  




Photo Credit: Bellator MMA