Canadian Rory MacDonald to face Jon Fitch in April at Bellator Grand Prix - InfoNews

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Canadian Rory MacDonald to face Jon Fitch in April at Bellator Grand Prix

Rory MacDonald, left, trades punches with Gegard Mousasi during a middleweight world title mixed martial arts bout at Bellator 206 in San Jose, Calif., on September 29, 2018. Canadian Rory (Red King) MacDonald will defend his 170-pound title against veteran Jon Fitch on April 27 in the fourth and final opening-round matchup of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP, Jeff Chiu
January 28, 2019 - 12:27 PM

Canadian Rory (Red King) MacDonald will defend his 170-pound title against veteran Jon Fitch on April 27 in the fourth and final opening-round matchup of the Bellator Welterweight World Grand Prix.

The card, at San Jose's SAP Center, will also feature flyweight champion Ilima-Lei Macfarlane (9-0-0) against Veta Arteaga (5-2-0) in the co-main event. Macfarlane is coming off a December submission win over Canadian Valerie Letourneau in her native Hawaii.

MacDonald (20-5-0) will have to put his title on the line each time he fights in the eight-man tournament.

The welterweight Grand Prix kicked off Sept. 29 with Douglas (The Phenom) Lima (30-7-0) winning via fifth-round submission over Andrey (Spartan) Koreshkov (21-3-0) in a battle of former 170-pound champions. The Russian won the title off Lima in 2015 only to lose it back to him the next year.

Lima will fight either Paul (Setex) Daley (40-16-2) or Michael Page (13-0-0), who face off Feb. 6 at Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn., in the semifinal round.

The MacDonald-Fitch winner will meet Neiman Gracie (9-0-0), who choked out Ed (Easy) Ruth (6-1-0) in the fourth round in December.

The 29-year-old MacDonald is coming off a second-round TKO loss in September to Bellator middleweight champion Gegard (The Dreamcatcher) Mousasi at Bellator 206 in San Jose. The fight was contested at 185 pounds so only Mousasi's middleweight title was on the line.

MacDonald, a native of Kelowna, B.C., who fights out of Montreal, went 9-4-0 in the UFC and is the last fighter to beat current UFC welterweight champion Tyron (The Chosen One) Woodley.

The 40-year-old Fitch (31-7-1 with one no contest) is also a UFC veteran. His fight resume includes bouts with Canadian Georges St-Pierre, B.J. Penn, Johny Hendricks, Jake Shields and Daley.

Fitch is riding a five-fight win streak and has won seven of his last eight.

Bellator wrapped up its Heavyweight Grand Prix on Saturday when Ryan (Darth) Bader stopped Russian legend Fedor Emelianenko in 35 seconds.

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News from © The Canadian Press, 2019
The Canadian Press

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