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Rory MacDonald knows what people were thinking prior to his arrival for the Bellator 222 media day. Rather than doing an open workout, he came relaxed and ready to address the media. Even though he knows his last opponent Jon Fitch is on standby as an alternate, he already sees himself fighting and winning on Friday night.
Even though after the fight with Fitch MacDonald made comments that would put his will to fight in question he let media know that is not the case. "Tune in," said the Bellator MMA welterweight champ. He added, "I feel healthy, great place right, really ready to compete hard," and he believes he will put on a great performance.
When asked about the previous comments after the Fitch fight, MacDonald said he never got time to reflect on everything up to the point he has reached now. So, that was just him expressing himself and says he is, "really ready to compete hard." He is well aware of Neiman Gracie's submission prowess having come to New York City and training at Renzo Gracie's academy where his Bellator 222 opponent gets ready for most of his fights.
To answer the submission victory Gracie is predicting, MacDonald is predicting a knockout victory on Friday night. "I'm looking for a knockout," said the champion. "I think it will end that way." Fighting so soon after the fight with Fitch did not come without its wear and tear but outside of an elbow issue after the fight, MacDonald says everything since has gone well and he is great shape.
MacDonald vs. Gracie serves as the main event for Bellator 222, which takes place in Madison Square Garden Friday night and airs exclusively on Dazn.
Edward Carbajal serves as the lead MMA analyst for Frontproof Media and holds a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and a brown belt in Ishin Ryu karate. He has covered combat sports since 2014 and has been a fan of MMA since the first UFC. You can follow him on Twitter @Carbazel or at his website TheBlogBoardJungle.com.