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During the Bellator 225 broadcast Saturday, the promotion confirmed the two fighters will square off in the Bellator 232 main event Oct. 26 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.
When the 170-pound tournament started out with eight competitors, MacDonald (21-5-1 MMA, 3-1-1 BMMA) claims he predicted a meeting with Lima (31-7 MMA, 13-3 BMMA) at the end of the gauntlet, MacDonald said at a post-fight news conference held after Bellator 225.
“That was always kind of my impression – that I’d meet him in the finals,” MacDonald said. “There were other really good guys he was fighting, but I had a feeling it was going to be him.”
The tournament final originally was planned for September. But after MacDonald’s most recent outing at Bellator 222, the former UFC welterweight title challenger asked the promotion to push the bout back until October.
Reflecting on the request, MacDonald now knows he made the correct decision. The 30-year-old Canadian had to heal up multiple injuries and focus on his life with a newborn.
“I couldn’t imagine doing my training camp through the summer,” MacDonald said. “I really needed some time for my injuries. I had injured my elbow in one of the fights. I had to go into the second fight with it. A little cut needed to heal.
“Plus, the situation in my house – (we were) welcoming my newborn and just getting acquainted and adjusted to that. It was impossible for me to show up earlier than what we scheduled.”
Bellator 232’s main event will be the second clash between MacDonald and Lima. The two fought in the Bellator 192 headliner in January 2018, where MacDonald won a unanimous decision.
Even though he’s already beaten Lima once, MacDonald said he thinks there is something to be proven with a victory in the rermatch. The welterweight grand prix has $ 1 million on the line for the winner, but that isn’t the most important earning MacDonald sees from a win.
“$ 1 million is motivating, sure,” MacDonald said. “But the rematch is important. I have to put on a solid performance. I have to put on my best performance to close out this tournament to put a stamp on this rivalry since our last fight. That’s the most important thing for me.
“The million dollars is really awesome. What a blessing that would be. But I’m not really focused on it.”
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