Bellator MMA returns to London with a firecracker welterweight title eliminator, where raw power meets technique and tenacity. We asked three insiders to call it…
Unbeaten British welterweight
I think everybody knows that this was the fight I was aiming for myself, so I’d be happy to jump in if any of these guys get injured. I was really gearing up to face Paul, who I believed was a friend of mine until he started talking behind my back. We’ve got a destiny and I guess if he loses to Rory our fight becomes almost inevitable. But it’s a good matchup and you write off Paul Daley at your peril. He’s older now but he’s no fool either. Rory will be the favorite because of his UFC career. But if he stands and trades like he did in his last couple of fights he could get knocked out.
All-action LA heavyweight
Despite the fact he will have been inactive for almost a year since leaving the UFC, I definitely see Rory winning this fight. He is so durable and hard to finish. Unless Daley can knock him out, I don’t think he can beat him. Daley is definitely a tough fighter and competitor. I’ve been wrong in my prediction of fights before, but Rory keeps a hectic pace and I think it will be too much for Daley. Rory wins the fight via decision because he’s fought at a higher level more recently and he’s just better in all areas.
‘Mean Machine’ bantamweight
One thing is for sure, it’s going to be an exciting fight and a firework show for the fans. I believe Rory is more well-rounded in the MMA sense of the game. He will definitely be more technical, but Paul Daley is a southpaw and that will be a challenge for Rory to figure out. Of course, Daley has dynamite in his hands and is an extremely tough competitor, also. I see Rory landing shots and scoring takedowns, putting Daley on his heels and maybe on his back in each round. That’s how I believe Rory will grind out a unanimous decision with the judges. He’s just a bit too much for Daley, who is a little predictable and will be swinging for the fences.
VERDICT: RORY MACDONALD
Despite the power advantage going with the Brit, it’s the Canadian who has the skills to grind out a one-sided decision.
*** This feature originally appeared in the May 2017 issue of Fighters Only ***