Rory MacDonald has already spoken to Scott Coker about moving up to compete as an alternate in Bellator’s heavyweight grand prix. The newly minted Bellator welterweight champion had previously said that there’s a good chance that happens and was always interested in competing in an “old school” style tournament.
Firas Zahabi agrees and likes the chances of his pupil, despite possibly taking on a massive opponent three full divisions heavier. The Tristar gym head coach also went on to predict that MacDonald would beat heavyweight legend Fedor Emelianenko.
“Well, Rory is in his prime, and Fedor is not. I think if Rory catches him on the button — and he will — it will be a great name for him to collect,” Zahabi told Fight Hub.
“Rory has got that experience, has got that hunger. He’s in his prime now. Now’s the time to take those chances. If you asked me two, three years ago, I would’ve said no. Now’s the right time. This is it.”
Widely considered among the best in the world at 170 lbs, the 28-year-old recently won a 5-round war to take the Bellator welterweight belt against Douglas Lima. He took quite a bit of damage on that bout and had to be carried out of the cage due to a grotesquely swollen shin.
MacDonald, who left the UFC as a free agent in 2016, previously competed as low as lightweight during his teenage years.