Rory MacDonald has eyes on Mousasi, second Bellator MMA belt


Rory MacDonald reacts to beating Douglas Lima at Bellator 92. (YouTube/BellatorMMA)

Canadian Rory (The Red King) MacDonald will look to add to his Bellator welterweight title when he takes on middleweight champion Gegard (The Dreamcatcher) Mousasi on Sept. 29 in San Jose.

The SAP Center card will be shown on DAZN, the first Bellator event to air under a new "nine-figure deal" with the sports streaming service.

The Mousasi fight sees MacDonald (20-4-0) move up a weight class to 185 pounds from the welterweight limit of 170.

MacDonald, a 28-year-old from Kelowna, B.C., who trains out of Montreal, won the welterweight crown in January when he earned a unanimous decision over Douglas Lima. In his Bellator debut, he submitted Paul (Semtex) Daley in May 2017 after going 9-4 in the UFC, a stint that included a failed title shot at then-welterweight champion (Ruthless) Robbie Lawler.

Mousasi (44-6-2) won the 185-pound crown in May when he stopped Rafael Carvalho in the first round. In his Bellator debut, he defeated former middleweight champion Alexander Shlemenko in October 2017.

Mousasi went 9-3 in the UFC after fighting in Strikeforce, Dream and Pride. He held the Strikeforce light-heavyweight title as well as the Dream light-heavyweight and middleweight crowns.

The 32-year-old Mousasi, who fights out of the Netherlands, has won seven straight dating back to a UFC loss to Uriah Hall in September 2015.

The fighters were civil when they squared off Tuesday for photographers at a news conference in New York, shaking hands before separating.

The Sept. 29 card will also feature a fourth fight between former UFC title-holder Quinton (Rampage) Jackson (37-13) and former Pride champion Wanderlei (The Axe Murderer) Silva (35-13).

Jackson, now 40, was beaten by Silva in Pride in 2003 and 2004. He defeated Silva in UFC 92 in 2008. Silva, now 41, has lost eight of his last 12 fights while Jackson has been beaten in his last two outings.

Silva wagged his finger in Jackson’s face when it was their turn for the cameras Tuesday. The two exchanged words before parting.

The card will also mark the kickoff of Bellator’s first Welterweight World Grand Prix, featuring eight 170-pounders.

The new DAZN deal will see seven fight cards a year on the streaming service and another 15 simulcast across Paramount Network and DAZN.

All fights will stream where DAZN is available — currently Canada, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Japan with the U.S. (in September) and Italy set to join them this year.

"The exciting new partnership with DAZN is a game-changer for Bellator," Bellator president Scott Coker said in a statement. "The investment will enable us to continue expanding our roster with free agents that make sense, so we can put on PPV-worthy fight cards that fans want to see. Plus, on DAZN’s worldwide platform, our fights will be seen live for the first time to new audiences around the globe."


When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.