- You really couldn’t have scripted a better Bellator debut for Rory MacDonald. I was hardly surprised at the fact MacDonald won decisively over Paul Daley on Friday, but I’ll admit that had he lost I wouldn’t have been that surprised. We’ve seen a few high profile free agents join Bellator and then be underwhelming in their debut, but that certainly wasn’t the case for MacDonald. As I stated last week, I’d really prefer to see him face Douglas Lima instead of Lorenz Larkin for the title in the next few months because that matchup intrigues me more than a showdown between two former UFC welterweights.
- It’s time for Bellator to crown a new heavyweight champion. Cheick Kongo became the winniest heavyweight in Bellator history on Friday (he’s gone 9-2 in Bellator), and I think it’s time that Bellator finally finds someone to face him for the vacant heavyweight title. As I said last week, I’m in favor of seeing the winner of Fedor Emelianenko/Matt Mitrione face him for the vacant title. But if Bellator ever decided to go another route, because they are signing a lot of aging legends lately, I’d be somewhat okay with seeing Bellator bring in Mirko Cro Cop to fight Kongo for the heavyweight title. As bizarre as this might sound at first, Cro Cop could make sense because he is on a 7 fight winning streak and he recently defeated one of Bellator’s poster boys King Mo Lawal back in December en route to winning the Rizin Open-Weight Grand Prix. But otherwise, I’d prefer to see Kongo face the winner of Emelianenko/Mitrione, or maybe even face King Mo Lawal for the vacant title since Lawal did defeat Kongo in a superfight back in February 2015 and has defeated the likes of Rampage Jackson and Satoshi Ishii in heavyweight fights over the past few months, which in my opinion makes Lawal a qualified candidate to fight for the vacant Bellator heavyweight title. Regardless, however, Bellator really needs to aim to crown a new heavyweight champion in my opinion because for a major MMA promotion to lack a heavyweight champion for as long as they have is a bit ridiculous in my opinion.
- I commend the WWE for trying something different with Jinder Mahal as champion. I honestly have not watched the WWE regularly for a little over a year now (I still watch the pay-per-views when I have the time, since I do have a WWE Network subscription because I like the old episodes of WCW Monday Nitro and their documentaries), but I’m unsure how much I like putting the title on Mahal right now. It’s nothing personal against Mahal, but it’s just hard to comprehend him as champion when it was literally 6 weeks ago that he was jobbing to the likes of the Big Show, Big Cass, Cesaro, and Mojo Rawley on television and at house shows. Had the WWE spent a few months building him up with a winning streak then I’d probably like this more than I do at the moment, but I’m curious to see where they go with this.
- I finally started my book project. For at least for a couple of years, I’ve wanted to write a psychology book based on my life experiences and my interpretations of what I’ve learned over the course of my studies. I’d like to publish it before 2019, so I’m under a bit of a time crunch, but I look forward to writing it and really getting my message out there.
I’m going to cover a little bit of psychology and a little bit of MMA in today’s edition. I’ll start with the psychology part first.
I prefer to keep my work life separate from my home life, so I enjoy having a quality work/life balance. So much so that whenever I’ve received a promotion at work, I’ve always made it clear to my employer that having time away from the office is a must for me. This isn’t because of a lack of love for my job, but rather it’s because I recognize that I need adequate time to recharge my mental batteries to ensure that I’m able to perform my best on a daily basis. Plus…I tend to be a bit of a workaholic if given the opportunity, so I like to make it clear that once I leave the office every night that I’m turning work “off” until I come back the next morning.
Whether you’re a segmenter (someone who sets clear boundaries between work and home) or an integrator (someone who combines the two), it’s important to find the style that works best for you. While there’s no “right” way to be, I prefer segmentation for the reasons stated above. But I do happily integrate the two when the situation calls for it, but I try to keep that to a minimum.
The winner of tomorrow night’s Rory MacDonald/Paul Daley fight is slated to take on the winner of Douglas Lima/Lorenz Larkin later this year. Personally, I’d really rather see Rory MacDonald versus Douglas Lima at some point rather than some combination of a rematch of Douglas Lima/Paul Daley, Lorenz Larkin/Rory MacDonald, or Lorenz Larkin/Paul Daley. Sometimes it’s hard to decipher how good a non-UFC fighter really is, but I think that a matchup between Lima and MacDonald would give great insight to how good Lima really is. Even with his UFC departure, MacDonald is viewed as a top five welterweight, and Larkin is viewed at least as a top 15. A win over Larkin for Lima, and then a showdown with MacDonald would really allow the MMA community to get a better idea of how talented Bellator’s welterweight division is in relation to the UFC’s welterweight division.
So ultimately, I’m cheering for Rory MacDonald to beat Paul Daley. Not only for the reasons I stated above, but also because I’m a fan of MacDonald’s and I’m eager to see how he does for Bellator.
In the co-main event of Liam McGeary/Linton Vassell, I’m hoping to see Vassell win. I’ve never been completely sold on McGeary, even if he did have a title reign as Bellator’s light heavyweight champion, so I think Vassell pulls off the win here. I’m unsure of what’s next for the winner of this fight, whether it’s facing the winner of Phil Davis/Ryan Bader for the light heavyweight title at a later date or facing King Mo Lawal in a number one contender matchup, but I’d like to see Vassell win here.
I think Cheick Kongo defeats Augusto Sakai to continue his “reign” as the unofficial Bellator heavyweight champion (or at least in my mind he is, since Bellator took the title away from Vitaly Minakov last year due to a lack of title defenses). I’d really like to see Kongo fight for the vacant title at some point, possibly against the winner of Fedor Emelianenko/Matt Mitrione, because I think it’s a tad ridiculous that Bellator hasn’t crowned a new heavyweight champion after stripping Minakov of the title after not defending the title since April 2014.
Finally, I hate how Bellator puts some of these international cards on tape delay. I would much rather have the option of seeing this card live as it happens, even if that means I’d have to possibly duck out of work early to catch it live. I know that I can avoid the internet and social media to avoid spoilers before I watch, but I’d just rather know that I’m watching the fight unfold live and spontaneously in front of me.