In the world of MMA, it is very difficult to pull the “shock card” and surprise fans or media members.
But the fine folks at Bellator MMA have done it once more.
On September 29 live from the SAP Center in San Jose, California, Rory MacDonald will challenge Gegard Mousasi for the middleweight title and Quinton “Rampage” Jackson takes on Wanderlei Silva for a fourth time at Bellator 206.
Before we get into Rampage-Silva, let’s discuss the main event.
MacDonald is the reigning welterweight champion in the promotion and has already been placed in a grand prix where his title will be on the line each time he fights – or if he is defeated. The former UFC title contender will be chasing a second crown when he battles Mousasi, also an ex-UFC fighter who previously held the Strikeforce title.
If MacDonald is able to win the belt, he’ll make history and position himself to have quite the busy 2019 season with two titles possibly to defend and a grand prix to chase after. He would also join Joe Warren as the only two-division Bellator champions.
For Mousasi, the fight gives him a chance to defeat a marquee name and cement himself in the division.
Now for the “freak show” bout of the night, as Jackson and Silva meet for a fourth time overall. “The Axe Murderer” owns two wins in the series, with the former UFC light heavyweight champion having claimed victory in the most recent battle.
This marks the second bout since 2013 for the 42-year-old Silva, who was bested by Chael Sonnen at Bellator 180 in 2017. Jackson, meanwhile, is also coming off a decision defeat at the hands of Sonnen and is looking for his first win since a split decision in 2016 over Satoshi Ishii.
But hey, if we can have Chuck Liddell vs. Tito Ortiz 3 in 2018, who’s to complain about getting Rampage vs. The Axe Murderer 4.
Bellator 206: Mousasi vs. MacDonald Fight Card
MAIN CARD (Paramount Network/9 p.m. ET)
Bellator Middleweight Championship
Gegard Mousasi (c) vs. Rory MacDonald
Heavyweight: Quinton “Rampage” Jackson vs. Wanderlei Silva
Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix
Douglas Lima vs. Andrey Koreshkov
Featherweight: Aaron Pico vs. Leandro Higo
PRELIMINARY CARD (ParamountNetwork.com)
Featherweight: Ignacio Ortiz vs. Jacob Ycaro
Middleweight: Abraham Vaesau vs. DeMarco Villalona
Female Featherweight: Arlene Blencowe vs. Amber Leibrock
Catchweight: Adam Piccolotti vs. James Terry
Featherweight: Gaston Bolanos vs. Ysidro Gutierrez
Featherweight: Justin Smitley vs. Jeremiah Labiano
Bantamweight: Joe Neal vs. Josh San Diego
Light Heavyweight: Chuck Campbell vs. Joseph Ramirez
Lightweight: Anthony Figueroa vs. Samuel Romero
Bantamweight: Isaiah Batin-Gonzalez vs. Khai Wu
Featherweight: Ricky Abdelaziz vs. Laird Anderson
Lightweight: Don Mohammed vs. Salvador Becerra
Bantamweight: Cass Bell vs. Ty Costa