Rory MacDonald needed to be carried out of the cage after winning Bellator title
It's official, Rory MacDonald is the Bellator welterweight champion.
Mission accomplished for Rory MacDonald. It wasn't the prettiest win, but the 'Red King' did what he needed to do at Bellator 192. Although Douglas Lima didn't make it an easy night's work.
The first round was pretty much a feeling out process. MacDonald worked his jab while Lima fired back with some leg kicks. After a lot of pressure in the clinch, MacDonald managed to get it to the ground until the referee forced the stand-up with 10 seconds left in the round.
Lima's leg kicks started wearing on MacDonald in the second, so he opted to move to the clinch. He remained in control and stayed busy enough to maintain the dominant position. Lima managed to bloody his nose with a stiff shot, but the Canadian two-up heading into the third.
Round three is where the momentum began to shift. After controlling the clinch and getting the takedown, MacDonald was stood back up before being able to inflict any damage of note. After the intervention, Lima punished MacDonald with devastating leg kicks, one of which actually dropped him.
— Jonnyboy (@JBNeverDies) January 21, 2018
The supremely tough MacDonald was able to weather the storm and survived until the buzzer.
Lima picked up where he left off in the fourth. MacDonald's leg was badly swollen at this point and Lima capitalised by taking the top position. However, MacDonald did a fantastic job of damage limitation.
Bruh. That shin. pic.twitter.com/AYVvObxUpZ
— Ben Fowlkes (@benfowlkesMMA) January 21, 2018
The fight was still very much up for grabs going into the fifth. With the gold strap in his sights, MacDonald went to work on the ground to put the result beyond all doubt. While Lima was sapped of energy, MacDonald fired some forceful ground and pound which opened up a cut on his eye. He remained on top for most of the round to easily take it.
The judges gave MacDonald the unanimous decision victory and the 170 lb belt by scoring the contest 49-48, 49-45, 49-46. MacDonald admitted that Limas was the best fighter he's ever faced and gave some insight into his leg injury.
"I think I have a person growing inside me. I can't really walk on it, but whatever."
Once the post-fight interview was complete, MacDonald had to be carried out of the cage.