Dude was so fun to watch
MacDonald fell to short-notice replacement Dilano Taylor in the 2022 PFL welterweight semifinals on Saturday. He was originally supposed to face Magomed Umalatov before Umalatov had issues acquiring a visa to travel to the UK.
MacDonald got knocked out by Taylor in the first round of their semifinals matchup. He lost four of his last five fights since making the move from Bellator to the PFL last year.
Despite still being in what many feel is his physical prime at 33 years old, MacDonald seems content to call it quits and move on to the next chapter of his life away from fighting.
Following the loss to Taylor, MacDonald announced that he is walking away from MMA via a recent Instagram post.
“My time has come to put the gloves down for good,” MacDonald posted Sunday. “I’m so thankful for this sport and every person I’ve been able to meet along the way. I started this sport as a 14 yr old kid, I still remember my first day and knowing this is what I wanna spend my life doing. the passion for martial arts and becoming a pro mma fighter gave me hope and a way to a better life! and I’m so thankful to god for putting that gym toshido mma in kelowna in my path. it truly changed the direction of my life and saved me!
“What an adventure this career has been, 17 years of professional fighting. it all came and went so fast! so many painful trainings that are etched into my being, traveling to all parts of the planet and meeting so many people.”
MacDonald leaves the fight game as one of the most influential figures in Canadian MMA history. Under the tutelage of UFC Hall of Famer Georges St-Pierre and legendary coach Firas Zahabi at Tristar Gym, MacDonald earned impressive wins in the UFC, Bellator, and most recently in the PFL.
Following a UFC tenure that featured instant classics against the likes of Robbie Lawler and Demian Maia, MacDonald made the move to Bellator and won the welterweight title over Douglas Lima at Bellator 192. He would go on to compete for the middleweight title and defend his welterweight belt against Neiman Gracie.
MacDonald recently spoke with MMA News about the struggles of fellow UFC veteran and PFL fighter Anthony Pettis. He alluded to his desire to see fans and pundits show compassion when fighters like Pettis appear to potentially be on their way out.
MacDonald accumulated a 23-10-1 record during his career in the cage.
That fight against Robbie Lawler broke him.
That was a gnarly fight and Robbie broke his face and spirit it appeared
Once bones break, they never fully recover. Also, men who get into full mma too young have serious issues early in life. The brain isn’t designed to be knocked around for 20 years.
Best of luck!
He has a lot of miles on him for his years.
I still loved watching him wreck Tyron Woodley because fuck him.
Thank you Rory for one of the most iconic fights in MMA history with Robbie Lawler.
It’s been a pleasure watching you go to war.
welcome to suplex city. population: Nate Diaz
very respectable career
bummer when age gets em and they try to beat it, and retire with a win
instead they retire on a losing streak
The former Bellator champion and long-time UFC welterweight contender hung up his gloves this past weekend, after competing under the PFL banner. MacDonald (23-10-1) was stopped in the first round of his welterweight contest against short-notice replacement Dilano Taylor at 2022 PFL 8. The bout was part of the promotion’s welterweight semifinals.
Not long after the defeat, MacDonald announced he was walking away from the sport. Although it was a decision that many didn’t see coming, given MacDonald never indicated he was close to retiring, the Canadian knew it was time, and he’s known for quite some time.
“It’s been on my mind for a while,” MacDonald said on The MMA Hour. “I feel like it’s been quite a few fights where I’ve actually questioned it, but just wasn’t ready (to retire).
“I felt like I could still have that resurgence in my career. I had a goal, and I was driven, and I know in the practice room I could do certain things, but I just wasn’t able to do it in the cage when it came time, when rubber meets the road. Unfortunately, there’s a difference from what you can do in the practice room and under those lights. I just don’t have that certain thing, that spirit, that heart to go out there and get it done anymore. And every fight for a while now, it’s been diminishing now. I see it more and more.
“This (PFL) season was kind of my last hurrah. I was all in. I was going to put everything I could possibly put into this, and if I was successful, I was just going to keep going with it and go towards my goals, but if I fall short that would be the end.”
MacDonald was playing it by ear going into the PFL semifinals, but deep down he knew retirement was looming. MacDonald lost that night in Cardiff, but even if victorious, the feeling he got in the cage confirmed he needed to walk away.
“In this last fight, even if I would’ve put up a better fight and lost or even if I had won, just the feeling that I had in that fight was confirmation to me that this isn’t for me anymore,” MacDonald said. “It’s not who I am anymore. So I have to listen to that.”
MacDonald revealed he’s been feeling uncomfortable in the cage for quite some time. It became evident that he had doubts about his fighting career after losing to Gegard Mousasi at Bellator 206 in 2018 – a fight where he was attempting to become a two-division champion in Bellator.
Although it’s been years since MacDonald has been grappling with retirement, the 33-year-old is happy he kept fighting, as he now has no doubts on his decision to end his illustrious fighting career.
“No, I think I needed to (keep fighting),” MacDonald said. “I needed to get it out of my system. Now, when I walked out of the cage, obviously I was disappointed getting knocked out, but I’m very much at peace with it.
“I know very much for certain that I don’t want to fight anymore. If I had hung it up before, I think I would’ve probably circled back to it, and it would’ve been more of a drawn-out process. I just had to finish whatever it was and get it out of my system.”
It is the mind that never fully recovers.