Longtime UFC contender Rory MacDonald may have already reached the pinnacle of 170 pounds in his new home in Bellator when he outlasted champion Douglas Lima to take home the gold at January 20’s Bellator 192, but before his title shot he was teasing some truly huge things.
‘The Red King’ hinted that he wanted to be an alternate for Bellator’s Heavyweight Grand Prix, which also got started at Bellator 192 when Chael Sonnen beat Rampage Jackson in the opening round.
But even though MacDonald currently rules the welterweight roost, his longtime coach Firas Zahabi recently told Fight Hub TV that MacDonald would take a fight with legendary former Pride champion Fedor Emelianenko if Frank Mir was forced out of his April Grand Prix match-up with “The Last Emperor,” and would knock out the Russian hero if he did:
“Rory is in his prime, and Fedor is not. I think if Rory catches him on the button, which he will, it’ll be a great name for him to collect.”
Indeed it would be, as Emelianenko still ranks as one of the biggest names in the history of mixed martial arts despite a questionable return to the sport that saw him absorb a brutal knockout from Matt Mitrione last June.
Because of the timeframe of Fedor being past his prime and MacDonald being directly in his, Zahabi believes the time is now for ‘The Red King’ to take chances such as facing Emelianenko:
“Rory’s got that experience, he’s got that hunger. He’s in his prime now right now, now’s the time to take those chances. You know, if you ask me two-three years ago, I would have said no. Now’s the time. There’s a right time, so, this is it.”
MacDonald vs. Emelianenko would be a huge fight indeed, and Fedor has taken on slightly smaller competition in Strikeforce when he met fellow Pride great Dan Henderson.
However, “The Last Emperor’s” currently involved in the Grand Prix, and MacDonald’s next fight will most likely be his first defense of the Bellator welterweight championship, a fight he’ll certainly need much time to prepare for after suffering a gruesome injury to his leg against Lima.
Is this a bout you’d be excited to see in the Bellator cage?