Rumors of Rory MacDonald’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.
For a time, there was some question as to whether “The Red King” would even make it to Madison Square Garden for his welterweight tournament semifinal matchup with Neiman Gracie. However, MacDonald looked like a reasonable facsimile of his old self as he cruised to a convincing five-round verdict over Gracie in the Bellator 222 headliner. That sets up a future rematch with Douglas Lima in the bracket’s finals. While a return to form was nice for MacDonald, two head-to-head losses to the No. 6 welterweight, Robbie Lawler, means he will hold steady in the seventh spot after a successful weekend in the Big Apple.
Elsewhere, Kyoji Horiguchi strengthened his standing as one of the sport’s top lighter weight competitors with a unanimous verdict in a rematch with Darrion Caldwell in another featured bout at Bellator 222. The American Top Team representative now owns titles in two different promotions and a 13-fight winning streak, but even that isn’t enough to gain ground in a stacked bantamweight poll. The Japanese star stays put at No. 5 at 135 pounds. Finally, Rena Kubota suffered a first-round submission loss to Lindsey VanZandt on the same card, but since the defeat came at a 112-pound catchweight rather than atomweight, the Shoot Boxing queen won’t be penalized in the rankings.
Continue Reading » Heavyweight