Bellator 220: Look Forward to Rory MacDonald vs. Neiman Gracie, Despite Some of Champ’s Post-Fight Comments

After a busy night of MMA on Saturday, arguably the biggest talking point today is whether Bellator champ Rory MacDonald will return to the cage. But, if you take a broader look at the situation, and what MacDonald said in the post-fight presser, expect to see him face Neiman Gracie next.

As you’ve surely heard by now, MacDonald faced Jon Fitch in the main event of Bellator 220, and retained the welterweight title via a majority draw. In addition, MacDonald has advanced to a semifinal bout with Gracie in Bellator’s ongoing welterweight grand prix.

Well, what blazed across the internet following the main event, was what MacDonald immediately said after the fight (quotes via MMA Junkie):

“As a man, I feel like God has really called me the last little while. I don’t know. He’s changed my spirit, changed my heart. It takes a certain spirit to come in here and put a man through pain.

“I don’t know if I have that same drive to hurt people anymore. I don’t know what it is. It’s confusing, but I know the Lord has something in store for me. He was speaking to me in here tonight. I don’t know. It’s a different feeling.”

So, this made news quickly, and understandably so. But, during the post-fight press conference, here’s some of what MacDonald had to say when asked follow-up questions (quotes via MMA Fighting):

“I’m going to sit back, pray and see what God has in store for me,” he said. “My plans are to go to the next stage and compete against Neiman.”

Is there a chance MacDonald could get back to Kelowna, and after spending time with his friends and family etc, he’ll decide to hang-up-the-gloves? Sure. But, it would be somewhat surprising if that happens.

After all, MacDonald would be leaving a sizeable sum of money on the table if he didn’t compete in the semifinals. Maybe that’s not an issue for him, or maybe that’s not even something he’ll look at while considering his spiritual path. But, one would think financial considerations will also play a role in his decision. At least for the short term. Another check of that size could really help the 29-year-old and his family navigate to the next stage of his life. It’s also important to note that the winner of the tourney collects $1 million dollars.

Further, it would be somewhat shocking if MacDonald decided to walk away at this juncture, and left Bellator hanging. By all accounts, MacDonald has a good relationship with Bellator, and he likely understands that retiring mid-tourney, could pose some problems for the company. In fact, due to MacDonald’s comments, the grand-prix could have even more buzz moving forward.

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