Lima Defeats MacDonald to Win Welterweight Grand Prix
BarnBurner Sports Writer
Sunday, October 27, 2019
Bellator 232 provided some exciting moments for fans throughout the night in their second of back-to-back nights of fights at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut. The winner would not only be the Bellator Welterweight Champion, but they would also walk out with a Grand Prix championship as well as the one million-dollar prize money.
The finals of the grand prix was a highly anticipated rematch between reigning Bellator Welterweight Champion “The Red King” Rory MacDonald and former Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas “The Phenom” Lima, who he had defeated at Bellator 192 to become champion.
The first bout between the two was close and ended with a MacDonald getting his hand raised by unanimous decision. It wasn’t a dominant bout by any means as MacDonald needed to be assisted out the cage because he had taken a lot of damage from Lima’s leg kicks.
The rematch was much different than the first bout; both fighters were a little hesitant to start but once the pace began ramping up, Lima was the better of the two and was able to stop MacDonald’s takedowns and was successful with his counter strikes.
MacDonald was able to get Lima to the ground in the fifth round, but it was too late as the challenger had done enough at that point to secure the win. Lima corrected all his mistakes from the previous fight and won by unanimous decision (50-45, 50-45, 49-46), to become the new Bellator Welterweight Champion, welterweight Grand Prix champions, and one million-dollars.
When the Welterweight Grand Prix was announced last year, Lima and MacDonald were viewed by many as the favorites to come out of their respective brackets and meet once again in the finals.
MacDonald path to the final didn’t start off well as he and Jon Fitch fought to a majority draw that resulted in Fitch being eliminated and MacDonald retaining his title and advancing due to champion’s advantage. MacDonald then rebounded from that performance and defeated submission specialist Neiman Gracie.
Lima on the other hand submitted former Welterweight Champion Andrey Koreshkov in their trilogy bout and knocked out undefeated welterweight Michael “Venom” Page.
Following the fight, MacDonald confirmed that it was in fact the last on his current contract with Bellator, making him a free agent. With that in mind, it’ll be interesting to see what he chooses to do because he was debating on whether he wanted to continue fighting following his draw to Jon Fitch and now that he’s no longer under contract, he may choose to retire, sign a new deal with Bellator, or potentially return to the UFC.
Photo Credit: Bellator MMA