clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Bellator 192 conference call recap: Rory MacDonald ready to fill in for heavyweight tournament

Bellator 192 “Lima vs MacDonald” takes place Jan. 20, 2018 at The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. This week’s conference call featured Douglas Lima, Rory MacDonald and Bellator President Scott Coker, among others.

Bellator 192 ‘Lima vs MacDonald’ conference call

Bellator 192 “Lima vs. MacDonald” comes to The Forum in Inglewood, Calif. on Jan. 20, 2018. The first Bellator show of the year is a “tent pole” event for Paramount Network (formerly Spike TV) that will see Welterweight champion Douglas Lima defend his title against Rory MacDonald.

Both of these men, along with Bellator President Scott Coker, were on the line for a conference call on Jan. 10 to promote Bellator 192, and we’ve got the full audio for you above along with selected highlights below.

Douglas Lima on Rory MacDonald’s stature in the division:

“Rory’s been on top for a long time. He beat the guy that’s supposed to be No. 1 (Tyron Woodley), so he can be considered No. 1. I’m just focused on the fight. Don’t really care much about rankings. I’m not really focusing on that, just focusing on winning this fight.”

Rory MacDonald’s response:

“I already feel like I’m No. 1 in the world. Now it’s just about getting it done. We’ll find out next Saturday what Douglas is made of.”

Scott Coker on the importance of Spike TV (now Paramount Network) to MMA:

“I think if you look back at the history of the sport and somebody writes the chapter 10-20-30 years from now, before Kevin Kay greenlit The Ultimate Fighter and that series took place, luckily he was a big fan and the President of Spike and he had the ability to make that happen and it really took off MMA. It was a very critical era in mixed martial arts in the history and Kevin Kay was part of that and Viacom supported mixed martial arts.”

Lima on being the top dog in Bellator at 170 pounds:

“I feel like I’m getting better and Bellator is bringing out the top guys, guys with big names, I love having that target on my back and being the champion. Let them come at me. I love it. Welterweight is the strongest division and it feels good to be on top of it.”

Coker on the possibility of future weight class tournaments:

“We’re gonna leave that door open and this tournament happened in organic fashion. We signed all these guys and then we were like ‘Oh we have our line-up here.’ Fighting for the title is going to be special throughout the year. I can see a couple of other divisions next year or the year after but we’re not planning to do it every year - we’ll just keep that door open.”

MacDonald on what Lima is best at going into the fight:

“I think Douglas, his biggest strength is his power. He can hit hard from pretty much anywhere. I’ve fought a lot of power hitters before and I’ve been very successful against those guys so I’m not too stressed about it. I think his biggest asset is gonna be his power.”

Coker on alternates for the Heavyweight Grand Prix:

“We will start announcing that at a later date. Probably, look for us at the post-fight press conference on Saturday. I know that Rich (Chou) has continued talking to (Shane Carwin) but that doesn’t mean he’s locked in for an alternate yet. I think Rory has a big fight coming up he’s focused on so let’s see how that works out. As far as him fighting at Heavyweight, the thing I love about him is he’s a real mixed martial artist and the weight class doesn’t bother him, but I think we’ll stick to Heavyweights.”

MacDonald on wanting to be an alternate in the tournament:

“I would definitely take part in it if I had the opportunity. I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t do it. I think any time I get into a fight it’s going to be competitive. I’m the type of fighter that’s going to go down swinging to my last breath. Even if these guys are massive I’m gonna make them feel something. I’m gonna make them fight for it for sure.”

MacDonald on where he would rank Lima in the world at 170:

“I would imagine Douglas would fit very well in the top five in UFC. I’m preparing for one of the world’s best, that’s for sure. I think it’s an added cool factor to have that debate going on. With more guys coming over from UFC into Bellator I think that just makes the debate that much closer as an argument. I think my performances will speak for themselves and people will be able to make up their own minds. People will see the class of fighter I am on the 20th.”

MacDonald on if he’s serious about fighting at higher weights:

“I think it’s all about timing so I’m pretty much open to anything. Whatever the best thing is at that particular time I’m pretty much ready to jump on it. If there’s not a clear contender after I beat Douglas I’d be ready to fight for the Middleweight title. I’m really open to any option. It just comes down to timing and availability and what the fans are most excited to see at that time.”

Lima on being called the underdog against MacDonald:

“I’m being considered the underdog to many people but in my eyes I’m not the underdog. I know he’s fought bigger names but I don’t think it matters. I know this is one of the best fights ever at Welterweight, it doesn’t matter the organization, I’m still young and hungry and so is he. It doesn’t matter if I’m the underdog or not, I’m ready to compete, I’ve been ready this whole time. I’m healthier than ever and I’m looking forward to this fight.”

Coker on why they decided to spread the Grand Prix throughout the year:

“There is a plan. We’ve hosted tournaments where it was four men in one night, and then in K-1 all eight fighters in one night, but to do it in MMA people get hurt - it doesn’t work. Let’s just have single elimination over a period of a year, they are all big stars with big brand names of their own, and it’s a good storytelling vehicle. I think having the vacant title as the prize at the end is a very intriguing story.”

MacDonald on the potential contenders he’d face as champion:

“I think there’s plenty of good talent at Welterweight. I could be very busy for a long time with the amount of fighters they have at Welterweight. I want to achieve more than just one weight class. I want to broaden my horizons a little bit.”

Coker on retaining the audience that they developed at Madison Square Garden:

“If you look at the quality of fights that we’ve done post NYC or even the night of NYC on the Spike telecast at that time, and the commitment that we’re making to this tournament to air on Paramount Network, I think it’s something the fans have appreciated and we’ve been getting a lot of good response. We’re excited about this year. Hopefully it’s going to be a record breaking year for us.”

Lima on his feelings about fighting a guy many call the best Welterweight:

“I’m gonna go there, give my best, and try to knock his head off. If that doesn’t work I’ll just keep fighting — what can I do?”

To check out the latest Bellator MMA-related news and notes be sure to hit up our comprehensive news archive right here.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Mania Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Mania