A pair of big upcoming matchups in the Bellator welterweight division have been turned into something of a mini-tournament.
Paul Daley will meet Rory MacDonald in the main event of Bellator 179 in London on May 19, which will be followed by the 170-lb. title fight at New York’s Madison Square Garden between champion Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin at Bellator NYC on June 24.
Tuesday, Bellator CEO Scott Coker made official that the winner of the MacDonald-Daley bout will meet the winner of the title fight on a date to be determined.
“This fight clearly will be for the number-one contender spot, and will fight the winner of Douglas Lima vs. Lorenz Larkin in New York on June 24,” Coker said on a media conference call.
Daley (39-14-2) clearly relishes the prospects of potential redemption against Lima. The London native is 6-1 with five knockouts in his past seven fights, but his one loss in that stretch was a decision against Lima at Bellator 158.
So even though pieces need to fall into place, Daley’s not afraid to say he hopes this scenario ends with a rematch.
“I hold Lima above Rory,” Daley said. “I don’t think there’s a bigger, more athletic, scarier welterweight out there at the moment. Me and my team, we believe that we can defeat Douglas Lima over five rounds. Not looking past Rory, but yeah, we want the shot at Lima. I feel if I’m more composed, I feel if I don’t rush out in the first 30 seconds like last time, I think over five rounds I defeat Lima.”
MacDonald (18-4), who makes his much-anticipated Bellator debut against Daley, isn’t allowing himself to look down the road just yet.
“I’m not too worried about being champ,” MacDonald said. “I’m just there to take out whoever’s in front of me. Obviously, it would be nice to fight for title, but I’m not really putting a lot of pressure on that, I just want to go out there and wreck people the way I know I can.”
Coker, meanwhile, touted the entirety of his welterweight class, which is the deepest division seen outside the UFC in several years.
“If you look at our division, the 170-pound weight class, I think it clearly is one of our strongest divisions and I think it’s probably the strongest division out of all the welterweights in any league currently out there,” Coker said. “You look at the fight between Douglas Lima and Lorenz Larkin in New York, we have other prospects, Michael Venom Page, Derek Anderson, we have Paul, we have Rory.”
Source:: mma fighting