Bellator welterweight champion Douglas Lima will defend his title against Rory MacDonald on January 20th in Los Angeles.

“When I signed with Bellator, I made it clear I wanted to take over — multiple weight classes and multiple championships,” a statement from the challenger MacDonald reads. “Douglas Lima and his title are first on the list before I move onto the next.”

MacDonald made a successful start to his run in the Bellator promotion earlier this year when he dominated Paul Daley, before finishing him with a rear-naked choke in the second round.

That brought an end to a two-fight losing streak he’d endured in the final stages of his time with the UFC, albeit against top-flight competition in the 170lb champion at the time, Robbie Lawler and Stephen Thompson.

This will undoubtedly be Lima’s toughest test to date, but he’s already faced some considerable challenges in his long stint in the Bellator promotion, including during his current three-fight winning streak, which saw him decision Paul Daley, then KO Andrey Koreshkov to win the title, before making a successful defense of the belt against another recent recruit from the UFC, Lorenz Larkin.

“I haven’t been this healthy in a long time and Rory is going to be just another win on my record,” Lima said of the upcoming fight.

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