Explore sports news

Combat Sports
7 min read

Rory MacDonald Retires After PFL 8 Loss

It appears that Canadian MMA star Rory MacDonald hung up his gloves at the age of 33.

According to a Twitter post from Aaron Bronsteter, the veteran of 34 pro fights has called it a career. “My time has come to put the gloves down for good”, says MacDonald. “What an adventure this career has been, 17 years of professional fighting. It all came and went so fast!” states ‘The Red King’. MacDonald goes on to thank fans, friends, and promotions that supported him through the years.

Rory MacDonald took on Dilano Taylor (10-2) at PFL 8, on August 13. The bout was the main event of the evening, as both men were looking to advance to the finals in the welterweight bracket. Things didn’t go well for the British Columbia native, as he was finished by ‘The Postman’ just 3:59 into the first round. The TKO victory for Taylor advances him into the tournament finals, and leaves MacDonald fans wondering what happened.

The majority of the MMA fanbase had the Canadian favored to win, but Taylor had other plans. It was the perfect rebound performance for ‘The Postman’, after his KO loss to Magomed Magomedkerimov at PFL 6. Taylor’s next bout is set, where he’s expected to face Sadibou Sy at PFL 10, in November.

Rise of the ‘Red King’ Rory MacDonald

Rory MacDonald began his pro MMA journey in 2005, where he quickly became a wrecking force on the regional scene. He amassed nine straight victories, before getting ‘the call.’ MacDonald made his UFC debut in 2010, where he made quick work of Mike Guymon. The first round armbar submission made a big impression on those involved, and it wouldn’t be long before MacDonald would face nothing but veritable killers.

MacDonald would lose his second bout in the UFC, when he ran into the then-undefeated Carlos Condit. After the loss, the Canadian tore up the welterweight division, going on a five fight win streak. A streak that included victories over some of the division’s most feared fighters like Nate Diaz, BJ Penn, and Jake Ellenberger. None of them could figure out the puzzle that was Rory MacDonald.

After winning five straight, MacDonald would run into the infamous brawler in Robbie Lawler. ‘Red King’ would drop the contest via split decision, in a hard fought war. After the loss to Lawler at UFC 167, MacDonald put together another streak, winning three in a row. He bested Damian Maia, Tyron Woodley, and finished Tarec Saffiedine.

The streak would earn MacDonald a title shot, and a shot to redeem a loss. Rory MacDonald would once again face Robbie Lawler, in what went down as one of the greatest scraps in the promotion’s history. The two went toe to toe in a battle of pure toughness. Both men left the fight with years taken off their lives, and a host of scars, both physical and mental. Although the Canadian star was stopped in the fifth round, he gained the respect of the entire combat sports world. We would only see Rory MacDonald one more time inside the Octagon, where he dropped a unanimous decision to Stephen Thompson in 2016.

Post UFC Career

In a somewhat surprising move, the ‘Red King’ decided to test the market, instead of re-signing with the UFC. In 2017, nearly a year removed from his last outing, MacDonald made his Bellator MMA debut. He won his first two bouts with the new promotion, finishing Paul Daley, and taking the belt from Douglas Lima. Things appeared to be looking up for Rory, as he’d even attempt to become a double champion moving up to middleweight to challenge Gegard Mousasi. MacDonald had three more fights under the Bellator banner, ultimately losing his welterweight strap back to Douglas Lima in 2019.

From there, Rory Macdonald signed with the PFL, and made his debut in impressive fashion choking out Curtis Millender in April of 2021. The ‘Red King’ didn’t have the success many figured he would fighting in the PFL. MacDonald ends his time with the promotion going 2-4 in his last six fights. Most MMA enthusiasts would agree that he was never the same after the bloody war that was Lawler vs. MacDonald II. The Canadian legend finishes his career going 9-4 with the UFC, 3-2-1 under Bellator, and 2-4 in the PFL.

What is your favorite fight from Rory MacDonald’s 17 year career? Let us know in the comments below.

Featured image credit to Embed from Getty Images

Subscribe to our newsletter

Receive the latest sports news, exclusive stories, and updates. Stay Up-to-Date!