The Bellator MMA Welterweight World Grand Prix is coming to an end this October.
According to MMAFighting on Thursday, Bellator President Scott Coker announced that Rory MacDonald (21-5-1) and Douglas Lima (31-7) will rematch in the tournament final on Oct. 26. The two met at Bellator 192 in January 2018, where MacDonald edged Lima by decision to earn welterweight gold. The stakes for the finals will be sky-high, as the welterweight belt is on the line, and the winner will receive an additional title for winning the Welterweight Grand Prix, as well as the $1 million award. Bellator to-be-determined will take place at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Connecticut, and the formal announcement is slated to take place during the Bellator 225 broadcast on Saturday.
The tournament began in September 2018, when Lima put Andrey Koreshkov to sleep with a rear-naked choke, earning one of the latest stoppages in promotional history at 3:04 of the fifth round. From there, Neiman Gracie submitted Ed Ruth at Bellator 213 in December. Michael Page went on to capture a controversial decision over Paul Daley in February, and then MacDonald garnered an equally controversial draw this April against Jon Fitch that allowed MacDonald to advance to the semifinals.
On the other side of the bracket, "The Phenom" punched his ticket to the finals by handing Page his first career defeat, when Lima starched him in the second round at Bellator 221 in May. To round out the tournament, MacDonald claimed his place in the finals by becoming the first man to beat Neiman Gracie, doing so on the scorecards in June at Bellator 222.
After wrestling the title from Lima last year, MacDonald attempted to become the promotion's first two-division champ when he pursued Gegard Mousasi's middleweight throne. His effort was thwarted by Mousasi, when the much larger fighter handed "The Red King" a second-round knockout loss. Undeterred by the loss, MacDonald dropped back down to 170 pounds, where he went 25 full minutes against Fitch and Gracie to reach the finals.
Two-time welterweight king Lima will be attempting to accomplish the rare feat of holding three separate title reigns in a division, following in the footsteps of three-time lightweight champ Michael Chandler. Lima is currently tied with former adversary Koreshkov for the most wins in Bellator welterweight history with 12 each. With 10 stoppage victories inside the Bellator cage to his credit, Lima trails only Chandler and Patricio Freire (11 each) for the most finishes in organizational history.