The welterweight title will remain with Rory MacDonald, as the current champion outlasted Neiman Gracie by unanimous decision to claim victory in the co-main event at Bellator 222 on Friday.
MacDonald, who improved his career MMA record to 21-5-1 with the win, is now through to the Welterweight Grand Prix Final versus Douglas Lima. The loss represents the first of Gracie's career, as the 30-year-old entered the fight at Madison Square Garden with a 9-0 record.
Lyoto Machida beats Chael Sonnen
The other co-main event saw Lyoto Machida square off with veteran Chael Sonnen. Machida didn't just end the fight in the second round, but the 41-year-old sent his opponent into retirement with the win. Machida notched his fourth straight victory with a TKO by flying knee and punches 22 seconds into the second frame, improving his career mark to 26-8 in the process.
Sonnen announced his five-fight deal with Bellator had ended with the loss Friday and that he was done as a MMA fighter. It's the conclusion of a lengthy career for Sonnen, who is now free to focus on his television broadcasting duties.
Other action from the main card: