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Bellator 222’s Neiman Gracie calls champ Rory MacDonald ‘tough,’ but is not impressed

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Neiman Gracie feels ready to take Rory MacDonald’s belt at Bellator 222, on June 14.

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The next Bellator welterweight title challenger, Neiman Gracie, feels ready to take Rory MacDonald’s belt at Bellator 222 in New York City. In an interview with Fox Sports Brasil, the decorated Brazilian jiu-jitsu blackbelt said he was unimpressed with the ‘Red King’s’ performance at Bellator 220, where he fought veteran Jon Fitch to a majority draw.

Furthermore, Gracie claims to feel ready to take his opponent down and implement his jiu-jitsu, a method which guaranteed all of his nine professional MMA wins, with only one of them not coming by way of submission.

“I don’t think my plans for this fight will be news for anyone, right? I had a great camp, I worked hard to become the first Brazilian to ever defeat Rory,” Gracie said. “I’ll clinch him, I’ll try to take him to the ground. I watched his last fight and agreed with the result. Rory is extremely tough, but doesn’t impress me. I feel confident.”

With a last name such as Gracie, Neiman can’t dismiss the additional pressure that comes with his family name. However, the 30-year-old tries not to give it too much thought coming into his fights,

“I’m relaxed,” he said. “I know my last name carries so much history and, naturally, that brings some pressure. I try to react to that naturally. I doesn’t really pressure me, but I do think it makes people always expect a submission.”

Neiman Gracie is expected to take on Rory MacDonald at Bellator 222, in New York City, on June 14. The fight will not only put the welterweight belt on the line, but is also one of the semifinals for the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix.

Additionally, the card will also feature a bantamweight title fight between the champion, Darrion Caldwell, and challenger Kyoji Horiguchi, who tapped out Caldwell via guillotine choke at Rizin 14 to become that company’s champion. Plus, a light heavyweight bout featuring UFC veterans Chael Sonnen and Lyoto Machida will pose as the card’s co-main event.