Mark your calendars, the Bellator welterweight Grand Prix has a date.
170-pound champ Rory MacDonald will defend his title against perennial title contender Jon Fitch in the opening round of the GP.
If “The Red King” defeats Fitch on April 27 in San Jose, Calif, he will advance in the historic tournament. If he loses, he will not only watch the rest of the GP from the sidelines, he will also lose his strap to Fitch. Every match-up in the GP is scheduled for five rounds. However, it is unclear at this time if MacDonald and Fitch will headline the event.
MacDonald, 29, will return to welterweight after a losing bid at becoming Bellator MMA’s first-ever “champ-champ.” Although he lost to Gegard Mousasi in his last outing, that was MacDonald’s first setback since inking a deal with the Viacom-owned promotion.
As for the 40-year-old Fitch. He is on a five-fight winning streak that includes his promotional debut against Paul Daley last May. Having challenged Georges St-Pierre for the UFC’s welterweight strap, Fitch is no stranger to big-time fights.
As of now, the Bellator card in San Jose does not have any other targeted bouts. However, if you find yourself fiending for your MMA fix, tune into this weekend’s Bellator 214 event that features the finale of the Heavyweight World Grand Prix between Fedor Emelianenko and Ryan Bader.