INGLEWOOD, Calif. — One Bellator weight division isn’t enough to hold Rory MacDonald. The top welterweight fighter has lofty future plans — including a trip up to light heavyweight to face champion Ryan Bader.
MacDonald told MMA Fighting on Tuesday that his hope is to beat Douglas Lima for the Bellator welterweight title Jan. 20 here in Los Angeles and move up. First would be the middleweight title, but he wouldn’t want to stop there.
“I’d go for three,” MacDonald said. “I’d fight [Ryan] Bader.”
MacDonald said he walks around at about 188 pounds, so he’d be giving up a great deal of size at 205. Bader, the Bellator light heavyweight champion, would be far, far bigger. Not that MacDonald would mind.
Welterweight would still be MacDonald’s main weight class in this vision, but he doesn’t want to restrict himself to just 170 pounds.
“That’s gonna be my home,” MacDonald said of welterweight. “That’s where I fit. I’m not a massive guy. I’d be a small middleweight, it would be a joke to see me at light heavyweight, but I still think I beat them.”
MacDonald has already made his wishes known to Bellator executives. He doesn’t know if they’ll go for it yet and Lima is still first up.
“I think they’re not getting too far ahead of themselves,” MacDonald said. “But I’ve brought it up to them. They know my intentions and stuff. We’ll see when I get there. I’ve got a big fight here with this guy. I’ll take care of that first and go from there. But in my mind’s eye, I see that.”
After Lima, MacDonald is hoping Gegard Mousasi wins the middleweight title and he could face Mousasi in a superfight for the 185-pound belt. Mousasi, the longtime MMA standout, debuts in Bellator against Alexander Shlemenko at Bellator 185 on Oct. 20 at Connecticut’s Mohegan Sun. Rafael Carvalho is currently the middleweight titleholder and he’ll defend the strap against Alessio Sakara at Bellator 189 on Dec. 9.
“I can’t guarantee you that,” MacDonald said. “At the end of the day, it’s Bellator’s decision. My motivation is yes. My choice is yes, but I also have a promoter to work with. This isn’t just me calling the shots here, but if I could, I would.”
And that extends to light heavyweight and Bader, who defends the title for the first time against Linton Vassell at Bellator 186 on Nov 3. The discrepancy in mass won’t deter “The Red King” at 205 pounds.
“I’m not too worried about it,” MacDonald said. “I’ll figure it out. I’ll make the weight class, that’s for sure — 192 or something.”