Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald needs some time off.
Following back-to-back training camps and 10 rounds spent in the cage with Jon Fitch and Neiman Gracie, MacDonald wants to take a break to allow his body to heal while also awaiting the birth of his second child before booking a rematch against Douglas Lima in the finals of the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix.
While Bellator president Scott Coker hoped for a September date, MacDonald quickly threw cold water on that idea while explaining why he requires a break after two grueling fights in a row.
“I have to take some time and heal some things up after back-to-back fights and training camps,” MacDonald said at the Bellator 222 post-fight press conference.
“[September is] not realistic for me. I mean I wish I could make it come true. I had a feeling they would want that but it’s just not possible with what’s going on in my life right now. I need to take some time to heal from these fights, from these training camps, so I can be ready for a guy like Douglas.”
Lima was not too happy to hear about the potential delay after he also targeted a September date for a rematch against MacDonald as he seeks to win the $1 million prize in the Grand Prix tournament not to mention attempting to regain the Bellator welterweight title.
“Four weeks rest, eight weeks camp!” Lima wrote on Twitter. “Come on now.”
Regardless of Lima’s feelings on the matter, MacDonald made it clear that he won’t be ready to fight again until the end of the year.
“Like December maybe November,” MacDonald answered when asked for a tentative timeline for the rematch.
He also later replied directly to Lima on Twitter:
In addition to allowing his body to heal and spending time with a newborn baby, MacDonald admits that he needs enough time to get ready for somebody as dangerous as Lima.
Their first fight was a back-and-forth five-round war that ended with MacDonald’s hand raised but he definitely didn’t leave the cage unscathed that night. That’s why he knows he has to get into a particular mindset when preparing for an opponent like Lima because it’s never going to be an easy night at the office.
“When you’re training every day, you kind of have to have the eye of the tiger. It’s like eat, sleep, you’ve got to be like chewing on steel kind of thing for six weeks,” MacDonald described. “It hardens your body, hardens your mind.
“Something about that just gets you in that mind frame of just being able to push through low points where if you were just kind of training so-so, in good shape, you might slack off a little bit.”