Bellator MMA is heading back to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. with a big-time welterweight title fight.
It didn’t take long for former UFC title challenger, Rory MacDonald to earn himself a shot at Bellator gold. The Canadian standout is set to face champion Douglas Lima early next year at an event yet to be named or numbered.
Promotional officials announced the news of the fight booking via Lance Pugmire of the latimes.com early Wednesday afternoon.
The 29-year old Brazilian became a two-time Bellator champion last November when he knocked out the current champion at the time, Andrey Koreshkov. His most recent outing was a successful title defence which he won via unanimous decision over the recently signed UFC standout Lorenz Larkin.
Lima has now won three straight since his Jul. 2015 loss to Koreshkov where he lost his welterweight title. The Brazilian has only lost twice since joining the promotion in 2011, once to former champion Ben Askren and the above-mentioned Russian.
Coming off a very dominant Bellator debut, Rory MacDonald will get a crack at winning his first major MMA championship in January. After losing back-to-back contests against Stephen Thompson and Robbie Lawler in 2016, the Canadian signed with Bellator in August last year. His first fight with the promotion was a demolition of Paul Daley in London earlier this year, his first win since 2014.
The 28-year old Canadian had a great UFC run where he reeled off huge wins over Nate Diaz, B.J Penn, Demian Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarec Saffedine. Many thought MacDonald would be a UFC champion but it was not meant to be.
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The yet to named and numbered event will take place Jan. 20 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. It will air on Spike TV and no other bouts were announced for the card.