Rory MacDonald Hopes to Become Bellator Champ-Champ and Then Defend Both Titles

Damon Martin
MMA Weekly
Rory MacDonald Bellator 179
Rory MacDonald Bellator 179

Rory MacDonald knows he's about to enter rarified air if he can win at Bellator 206.

On Saturday night, MacDonald will face middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi in the main event in hopes of winning his second Bellator title after becoming welterweight champion back in January.

Becoming a simultaneous two-division champion in the two major mixed martial arts promotions — Bellator MMA and the UFC — had never even happened until 2016 when Conor McGregor captured the featherweight and lightweight titles. Daniel Cormier followed up by becoming UFC heavyweight and light heavyweight champion back in July.

Now MacDonald hopes to join them in the history books by becoming the first fighter in Bellator history to hold two belts at once when he squares off with Mousasi on Saturday night.

As much as that achievement will mean to him, MacDonald hopes to take it one step further by not only winning both titles but then defending each of them.

"I would like to," MacDonald told MMAWeekly when asked about defending the middleweight and welterweight titles. "I'd have to talk with Bellator because I have the obligation of doing the welterweight tournament and that's going to take about a year. I'm sure that the other middleweights are going to want a crack at the championship fight so I guess we're going to have to see.

"If I became the middleweight champion, I would prefer to stay that way. I wouldn’t want to get stripped but I understand I have an obligation at welterweight doing that tournament. We'll see."

Following his fight with Mousasi at Bellator 206, MacDonald is already booked into the welterweight grand prix that will actually kick off the same night with former champions Douglas Lima and Andrey Koreshkov facing off in a five round battle.

MacDonald will face Jon Fitch in his opening round matchup and assuming he wins, he'll still have two more fights to go in the grand prix before he'd be free from defending the welterweight belt.

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Still, Bellator CEO Scott Coker doesn't sound opposed to the idea of allowing MacDonald to hold onto two titles simultaneously, even if that potentially means tying up one of the divisions.

"Rory will enter the 170-pound tournament after his fight with Gegard so we'll talk to Rory and see how he felt and a lot of it will depends on what the fighter wants to do," Coker added. "That door is open and we're not going to close it."

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