Bellator 222: Rory MacDonald Outscores Neiman Gracie
Rory MacDonald's comprehensive game handed Neiman Gracie his first loss tonight at Bellator 222.
Neiman Gracie had his moments tonight against Rory MacDonald, but ultimately the well-rounded skill set of the latter ruled the day.
MacDonald featured his jab early on and missed with a head kick. Gracie changed levels not long after, but MacDonald defended the takedown attempt. MacDonald slipped after throwing a kick, but Gracie was unable to capitalize as the UFC vet quickly got back up. MacDonald caught a kick attempt from Gracie and fired a big punch in return. Gracie planted a hard kick to the calf not long after. In between rounds, MacDonald could be heard saying his leg was bothering him.
Moments into round two, Gracie landed another kick to the calf of MacDonald and then took him down. Gracie rolled to attack the leg, and started working a kneebar. MacDonald defended and got back to his feet. Gracie remained clinched up to MacDonald, and continued to look for a takedown. But, then MacDonald countered with a trip and took the top position. MacDonald scored with a few punches and elbows before the rounded ended. Gracie had swelling forming under his right eye by the end of the frame.
MacDonald planted an overhand right not long into round three. Gracie shot in moments later, but MacDonald defended and swept him to the mat. MacDonald fired in a couple of hard punches from the top. Moments later, Gracie went for a sweep and attempted rolling into an armbar, but MacDonald countered and remained on top.
MacDonald scored with another right shortly into round four. Gracie stepped up his pace and landed with a few jabs. Gracie shot in and moved to MacDonald’s back in the ensuing scramble, but the latter eventually moved into the top position. Before the round ended, MacDonald scored with several punches from above.
Gracie came with a kick to the calf to begin round five and clinched up moments later. Gracie swept MacDonald to the floor, and then moved into mount. But, MacDonald eventually worked his way into half guard and then a butterfly guard. Gracie dropped back in search of a heelhook, but MacDonald defended and the final bell went.
All three judges scored the fight for MacDonald, sending the welterweight champ to the grand prix finals to face Douglas Lima.
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Here are the complete results for Bellator 222, which took place in New York City.
Rory MacDonald def. Neiman Gracie via unanimous decision (49-46, 48-47, 48-47)
Lyoto Machida def. Chael Sonnen via TKO (knee and punches) R2, 0:22
Dillon Danis def. Max Humphrey via submission (armbar) R1, 4:28
Patrick Mix def. Ricky Bandejas via submission (rear-naked-choke) R1, 1:06
Juan Archuleta def. Eduardo Dantas via KO (punch) R2, 4:59
Kyoji Horiguchi def. Darrion Caldwell via unanimous decision (48-47, 49-46, 49-46)
Taylor Turner def. Heather Hardy via TKO (punches) R1, 3:53
Adam Borics def. Aaron Pico via knockout (flying knee) R2, 3:55
Valerie Loureda def. Larkyn Dasch via unanimous decision (29-28, 30-27, 30-27)
Lindsey VanZandt def. Rena Kubota via technical submission (rear-naked choke) R1, 4:04
Haim Gozali def. Gustavo Wurlitzer via submission (triangle choke) R1, 4:02
Mike Kimbel def. Sebastian Ruiz via split decision (28-29, 30-27, 30-27)
Robson Gracie Jr. def. Oscar Vera via submission (armbar) R1, 3:15
Marcus Surin def. Nekruz Mirkhojaev via split decision (30-27, 27-29, 29-27)
Phil Hawes def. Michael Wilcox via TKO (doctor stoppage) R1, 5:00
John Beneduce def. Kenny Rivera via unanimous decision (30-26, 30-27, 30-27)
Kastriot Xhema def. Whitney Francois via TKO (punches) R2, 3:17
Brandon Polcare def. Brandon Medina via submission (guillotine choke) R1, 4:33