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Chael Sonnen vs. Rampage Jackson promoted to Bellator 192 main event

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Rory MacDonald vs. Douglas Lima no longer has top billing on next week’s Bellator 192 card.

Bellator 170: Ortiz v Sonnen Photo by Jayne Kamin-Oncea/Getty Images

Just a week away from Bellator 192 in Inglewood, California, Douglas Lima vs. Rory MacDonald has lost its status as the headlining fight.

Bellator president Scott Coker confirmed on Friday that the new main event is an opening round heavyweight Grand Prix bout between Quinton Jackson and Chael Sonnen. In other words, the main event is a three-rounder, while the co-main is the five-round title fight.

Both Rampage and Chael are longtime MMA stars who’ve each headlined multiple UFC PPV blockbusters, something that can’t be said for either Lima or MacDonald, so that’s presumably the reason behind this decision. Bellator spokesperson C.J. Tuttle told MMA Fighting that “the promotion is considering it a double main event along with Lima vs. MacDonald.”

This announcement from Coker was apparently also news to Sonnen:

Sonnen told MMA Fighting on Friday afternoon that he was unaware he and Jackson would be going on last until it was reported. He said main-event fights get an extra corner person, so he now has to set up travel arrangements for another coach. Sonnen said he wasn’t sure if Bellator had ever explicitly told him he and “Rampage” were the co-main event, but he presumed it based on the promotion for the event.

Rampage vs. Chael kicks off the Bellator World Heavyweight Grand Prix, which also features Ryan Bader vs. Muhammed Lawal, Fedor Emelianenko vs. Frank Mir, and Roy Nelson vs. Matt Mitrione, all of which will be on separate Bellator cards. Lima vs. MacDonald is for Lima’s welterweight title, as the former UFC title challenger MacDonald seeks a major championship for the first time in his career.

Bellator 192 will air live on the Paramount Network, aka the channel formerly known as Spike, starting at 9 PM ET/PT. The card will be televised opposite UFC 220: Miocic vs. Ngannou.