Rory MacDonald sounded noncommittal to a fight against Neiman Gracie after Bellator 220.
MacDonald retained his Bellator welterweight title with a majority draw against Jon Fitch in the opening round of the 170-pound grand prix. MacDonald is now slated to meet Gracie in the semifinals this summer, but it seems as if there is a chance the bout may not go ahead as planned.
After the draw against Fitch, MacDonald said in his post-fight interview that he has lately found it difficult to “pull the trigger.”
“I don’t have that killer inside,” MacDonald said after Bellator 220, which took place at SAP Center in San Jose. “It’s really hard to explain. I hesitate a little bit now. I don’t know what to say. It wasn’t my best performance.”
MacDonald is only 29 and based on his age should be in the prime of his career, but he started fighting very young and has competed for a long time. The former UFC welterweight title challenger made his pro MMA debut at the age of 16 in 2005. He has been involved in wars with Robbie Lawler and Douglas Lima, the former of which is considered one of the best fights of all time.
In his last bout, MacDonald was demolished by middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi in a superfight. It took place at Bellator 206 last September. The Canadian had little to offer the larger Mousasi, who stopped MacDonald with ground-and-pound in the second round.
MacDonald cited his renewed faith that has changed his outlook in life, something he spoke about in-depth before the fight as well.
“God has really called me the last little while. He’s changed my spirit, changed my heart,” MacDonald said. “It takes a certain spirit to come in here and put a man through pain and stuff. I just 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. It’s a different feeling.”
MacDonald’s Bellator record moved to 2-1-1 after the Fitch fight. He debuted in the promotion in 2017 with a submission of Paul Daley. He won the Bellator title with a narrow win over Lima early last year.
When asked about the impending bout against Gracie, MacDonald couldn’t offer much, but didn’t sound confident that the fight will happen.
“I have to get out of here and reevaluate,” he said. “We’ll see what happens. It was a mix of emotions in there.”