A year and a half after signing "The Red King" to a Bellator contract, the company got the match they were looking for -- Rory MacDonald in a championship fight.
MacDonald took on Bellator Welterweight Champion Douglas Lima Saturday night, and looked in control of the fight through two and a half one sided rounds. However, a leg kick from Lima broke a bloodied Lima down to steal round three and turn the tides. A failed takedown attempt by MacDonald resulted in Lima gaining full mount to start round three. MacDonald was able to recover, despite a huge hematoma on his leg, to outwrestle Lima and score ground and pound for the remaining two rounds.
Ultimately, MacDonald gained the victory, and his first major MMA championship.
You can see an excerpt of the fight from our Bellator 192 live coverage below.
Round Five: MacDonald takes Lima down and starts working on passing his guard. MacDonald settles for staying in guard and landing wide punches on Lima. Lima is unable to defend much of MacDonald's assault but keeps his guard closed. Lima even locks a body triangle on MacDonald in guard.
Fightful scores the round 10-9 for MacDonald.
Official Result: #2 Rory MacDonald def. Douglas Lima (Champion) by unanimous decision (48-47, 49-45, 49-46)
The bout drew some controversy in the days leading up to Bellator 192, when Paramount declared the main event would instead be Rampage Jackson vs. Chael Sonnen. MacDonald expressed his disdain for the decision.
Lima faced one of the most trying rows of opponents in Bellator history, taking on Paul Daley, Lorenz Larkin, MacDonald and Andrey Koreshkov twice. The win was MacDonald's first in the USA since beating Demian Maia in February 2014.