Bellator champ Rory MacDonald targeted for February return after another broken nose

NEW YORK – Bellator President Scott Coker has confirmed that Rory MacDonald suffered another broken nose in his Bellator 206 loss to Gegard Mousasi.

MacDonald (20-5 MMA, 2-1 BMMA), the current Bellator welterweight champion, is coming off a second-round TKO loss to middleweight champ Mousasi (45-6-2 MMA, 3-0 BMMA) this past month. It was a one-sided affair, with MacDonald taking lots of punishment before he was finally stopped with strikes.

Unfortunately, MacDonald, 29, has dealt with nose injuries throughout his career, suffering multiple breaks against the likes of Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson. The issue persisted in the fight with Mousasi, and while the Canadian hopes to compete again soon, Coker said he wants to slow play it.

“Yeah, he broke his nose,” Coker told MMAjunkie following today’s Bellator 208 press conference. “I know that whatever he needed to do, he already did it. He said, ‘I’m ready to go, I’m going to start training in a few weeks.’ I said, ‘Time out. Time out. Just relax.’ He’s an animal, man. He just wants to keep training and fighting.”

MacDonald failed in his bid to become a two-weight champion against Mousasi, but his next matchup is already on the table. Even before Bellator 206, it was confirmed “The Red King” would fight in the welterweight grand prix, which kicked off with Douglas Lima beating Andrey Koreshkov.

MacDonald is booked to defend his title in every round, should he advance, and his first-round draw is against Jon Fitch (31-7-1 MMA, 1-0 BMMA). That fight is still happening, Coker said, but at this point it’s just a matter of where and when.

“Rory’s been texting me every day, and he’s been keeping me updated,” Coker said. “He’s the kind of fighter that wants to fight tomorrow. If you ask me, he’ll fight sometime in February. If you ask him he’ll fight sometime in January. I think we have to just help him take a skip and just put the breaks on this, Rory. It’s fine. We can wait another three or four weeks for your nose to heal and due time to heal and come back and be 100 percent.”

For more on the Bellator schedule, check out the MMA Rumors section of the site.

Source: USA Today – MMA Junkie

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