Is MMA legend and former welterweight world champion Rory McDonald calling it a career?
After his loss to Delano Taylor in the PFL playoffs, MMA welterweight veteran Rory McDonald took off his gloves and exited the cage, his future uncertain (and certainly in the least amount of doubt).
Now, in a new social media post, McDonald has confirmed that he is moving away from active competition in the cage.
“It’s time for me to put the gloves down for good,” McDonald’s said in a statement on social media. “I’m so grateful for this game and for everyone I’ve met along the way.”
Rory McDonald has retired from MMA after a career spanning 17 years.
McDonald made his professional MMA debut in October 2005 at just 16 years old, earning a submission in the first round. Most of his early bouts took place at King of the Cage, where he was a lightweight champion before moving up to welterweight.
McDonald made his UFC debut in January 2010, defeating Mike Gaimon via submission in the first round. He suffered the first defeat of his career in his next encounter with Carlos Condit, but he and Condit came out with the UFC 115 Fight of the Night.
McDonald then went on a five-fight winning streak that included victories over Nate Diaz, BJ Penn and Jake Ellenberger before a narrow decision loss to Robbie Lawler at UFC 167.
After victories over Damien Maia, Tyron Woodley and Tarek Safidine, Macdonald got another shot at Lawler, this time in the co-main event of UFC 189 for the welterweight title. In one of the biggest fights in MMA history, McDonald came close to defeating Lawler and eventually ended up in fifth place.
After losing to Stephen “Wonderboy” Thompson a year later, McDonald made the leap to Bellator MMA, making his promotional debut at Bellator 179 in May 2017, presenting Paul Daly. McDonald’s decided to capture the Bellator Welterweight Championship in January 2018 over Douglas Lima at Bellator 192.
McDonald was unsuccessful in an attempt to capture the Bellator middleweight title from Gegaard Mausi before defending the welterweight title at the Bellator Welterweight Grand Prix. In the tournament, he drew with John Fitch and defeated Neiman Gracie in the final before returning the title to Lima.
McDonald signed with the PFL as a free agent until the end of 2019 but will have to wait until 2021 to make the PFL debut due to the COVID-19 pandemic. McDonald’s 2021 PFL season saw him submit to Curtis Miller before losing a highly controversial decision to Gleason Tibou. He would lose to eventual champion Ray Cooper in the semi-finals.
McDonald’s 2022 campaign in the PFL saw him submit to Brett Cooper but lost to Sadibou C before being knocked out by Taylor.