SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 4/28: Jon Fitch and Rory MacDonald on what comes next after Bellator 220 draw, Tito Ortiz signs with Combate Americas

By Michael Hiscoe, Managing Editor

Apr 27, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Rory Macdonald (red gloves) and Jon Fitch (blue gloves) receive instruction before their bout during Bellator 220 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

Close call

Bellator welterweight champion Rory MacDonald and Jon Fitch fought to a majority draw at Bellator 220 last night. Due to already going the full five rounds there was no room to add a sudden death round. Because MacDonald retains his title with the draw, he will continue on to the second round where he will fight Neiman Gracie. MMATorch’s Cole Henry had Fitch winning the fight, 48-47. Other media scores were split, with a slight majority favoring MacDonald at One of the three judges scored the fight 48-46 for Fitch. Despite not having a single judge think he won the fight, MacDonald will move on.

MacDonald acknowledged after the fight that he didn’t show the “killer instinct” needed to get a decisive win.

“It takes a certain spirit to come in here and put a man through pain, and I don’t know if I have that same drive to hurt people anymore,” he said.

Even with that glimmer of self-doubt, MacDonald thinks he’ll be ready to go relatively soon to fight Gracie.

Fitch’s future though is less certain. Fitch had said before the fight that he would retire if he lost. Something that didn’t happen, but he’s still out of the tournament.

“I didn’t lose, so I don’t know if I should keep that promise,” Fitch said (transcribed by MMAFighting). “But there’s a good chance it’s my last time. Now, if I got offered the Neiman Gracie fight, it’ll be hard to turn down a chance to win $1 million.”

With no guarantee from Bellator as to what comes next, Fitch could not commit one way or another as to whether he will continue on.

“I’m on the fence about walking away,” he said. “I’ve done a lot in this sport, 42 pro fights, two amateur fights, 17 years of training, and I started wrestling at nine. I’ve been banging heads for a long time. It’s up to me, how I feel. I want to get some picture and see how my body is holding up. I can’t straighten my arms. I’ve lost an inch in reach, and that’s not a good thing. But it’s fun. I have fun doing it.”

Sunday Notebook

-Post-fight bonuses from UFC Fort Lauderdale went to Mike Perry and Alex Oliveira for Fight of the Night (not to mention dance-off of the night) and to Jim Miller and Glover Teixeira for Performance of the Night for their respective submission wins.

-Tito Ortiz announced that he has signed with Combate Americas. “I’m ready to fight. I’m ready to kick some f*cking ass,” Ortiz said on an Instagram video.

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