It’s not just the UFC booking big matchups, as Bellator has set two huge fights for the fall, and I’ll give me thoughts on both of these new matchups in today’s MMA odds and ends.
Rory MacDonald vs. Gegard Mousasi, Bellator
The superfight the MMA world wanted is actually happening. According to a report from ESPN.com’s Ariel Helwani, Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald will move up to 185lbs to challenge Bellator middleweight champion Gegard Mousasi in a true superfight. The card takes place Saturday, September 29 at SAP Center in San Jose, California. MacDonald (20-4) has followed up a rough ending to his UFC run with back-to-bac wins over Douglas Lima and Paul Daley in Bellator. Mousasi (44-6-2) won five-straight fights in the UFC before signing a big free-agent deal with Bellator and beating Alexander Shlemenko and Rafael Carvalho in his first two Bellator bouts. Both guys are amongst the most elite fighters in the sport, but size does matter in MMA, and that’s why I have to give Mousasi the lean here. I also believe he’s the more durable fighter of the two, and I’m picking him to win this superfight. The odds should be interesting when they come out as I am expecting something close to a Pick ’em with perhaps a slight lean towards MacDonald due to his name value, but either way I favor Mousasi to get the nod in this one as the bigger fighter in this fight.
Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva 4, Bellator
As well, a light heavyweight bout between long-time rivals Quinton “Rampage” Jackson and Wanderlei Silva 4 will also take place at the same Bellator card that MacDonald vs. Mousasi is on. Rampage and Silva have fought three times previously, with Silva winning the first two fights in PRIDE by knockouts and Rampage returning the favor in the UFC with his own knockout win. Rampage (37-13) is now 40-years-old and after winning his first four fights in Bellator, he’s dropped his last two since. A decision loss to Chael Sonnen his last time out was extremely disappointing as he was outstruck by a wrestler. Silva (35-13-1, 1 NC) made his Bellator debut last year and lost a decision to Sonnen as well. At 41-years-old and having fought only once in the last five years, it’s hard to see him having much success. As bad as Rampage looked against Sonnen, he should be a considerable favorite over Silva at this point of his career.