Former UFC title contenders Michael McDonald (18-4) and Valerie Letourneau (9-6) were both able to pick up dominant unanimous decision victories in their Bellator debuts last night in Newcastle, England.
For McDonald, it came with a price. “I was happy with the performance. He [Peter Ligier] ate some heavy punches. I hit him hard enough to break my right hand again, so he’s very durable and I expected that from him. I’ve seen him get put down and keep coming,” the Modesto native said in his post-fight interview.
McDonald’s hand has been a reoccurring issue throughout his fighting career so it’s unfortunate to see him have to deal with any time off after a great start to his Bellator career. “I think that I have some pretty high accolades for a bantamweight, but I really have no idea how that stacks up to the other guys in my division,” ‘Mayday’ explained. “We will let this hand heal up and find out soon.”
For Letourneau, a debut win at flyweight gets her one step closer to her ultimate goal, claiming Bellator gold inside of the promotions newest and fastest growing division.
“This was a very important fight for me. I’m 34, my daughter’s a teenager now. I’ve sacrificed a lot of things for my career. But I want this Bellator belt so bad. It was really hard for me to watch Ilima Macfarlane and Emily Ducote fight for it first. I have so much respect for both of them, but I wanted to be the first one to fight for the title,” Letourneau said following her unanimous decision victory over Kate Jackson. “Unfortunately, that didn’t happen but to me that’s the only thing I have on my mind right now,” she continued. “Ilima knows I want to fight her and she had a really good performance in her last fight. When it happens, I think it’s going to be a really good matchup. It’s going to be an exciting fight.” A title fight against the inaugural women’s flyweight champion, the aforementioned and undefeated 10th Planet Jiu-Jitsu phenom Ilima-Lei Macfarlane, may not be that far off for the former top UFC strawweight contender.
Here are your full results from last night’s Bellator 191 ‘McDonald vs. Ligier’ event out of Newcastle, England:
Bantamweight Main Event
Michael McDonald (18-4) defeats Peter Ligier (8-2) via UD (30-27 x 3)
Women’s Flyweight Bout
Valerie Letourneau (9-6) defeats Kate Jackson (9-3)
Phil De Fries (14-6) defeats James Thompson (20-17) via submission (guillotine choke) – Round 1, 1:33
Jeremy Petley (12-8) defeats Lewis Monarch (9-3) via Split Decision (27-30, 29-28 x 2)
Mohammad Yahya (5-1) defeats Ashley Griffiths (4-6) via TKO (strikes) – Round 1, 3:26