Former Bellator MMA welterweight champion and UFC title challenger Rory MacDonald has announced his retirement from mixed martial arts.
MacDonald (23-10-1), one of Canada’s most prominent fighters and teammate of Samsung gym Georges St-Pierre, was once considered the obvious heir to “Rush”.
As was the case with MMA, things didn’t go according to plan. But the “Red King” fought Robbie Lawler in the most memorable UFC title fight of all time at UFC 189 in 2015, and after signing with Bellato, he will clinch the cut at 170 pounds the world champion.
Macdonald defended his title at Bellato twice, retained the belt in a draw with Jon Fitch and won by a decision over Neiman Gracie before losing the title to Douglas Leigh in 2019 Ma – he was deposed by him a year ago.
Rory MacDonald signed with the PFL later in 2019 and was expected to make his debut for the league’s 2020 season, but it was cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, in 2021 and 2022, he reached the semifinals, only to be eliminated each time.
On Saturday, MacDonald was upset by short notice opponent Dilano Taylor, who beat the Canadians in a round via TKO.
MacDonald announced his retirement from the sport following Saturday’s loss to PFL 8 in Cardiff, Wales, in a post on social media.
“It’s time for me to drop my gloves forever. I’m so grateful for the sport and everyone I’ve met along the way,” MacDonald began with his statement, which you can read below.
It’s time for me to drop my gloves forever. I’m so grateful for the sport and everyone I’ve met along the way.
I started the sport when I was 14 [year] Old boy, I still remember my first day and I knew this was what I wanted to do with my life. Passion for martial arts and being a professional MMA fighter gives me hope and a pathway to a better life! I am so thankful to God for letting the Toshido MMA gym in Kelowna stand in my way. It really changed the direction of my life and saved me!
What an adventure this career is, 17 years of professional fighting. It all came so quickly! So much painful training imprinted in my life, traveled to all corners of the earth and met so many people.
I’ve learned a lot about myself through this career, but not all of it is great.I’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way, but because of those mistakes I’m 33 and a better person, I’m so grateful for that, I’ve grown up lol
I want to thank all the fans who have always supported me, I never got into the sport for fame or any recognition and it’s hard to get used to the attention, but I really appreciate the kindness you guys have shown me!
Thank you to all of my friends and family who have gone out of their way to help me achieve my dream of fighting at the highest level in MMA, thank you for your trust and care in me, you are so generous and I love you all.
Thank you UFC, bellator, PFL for giving me the chance to fight on the world stage
and all the staff at those organizations, you guys are really cool [people] Hanging out and working together, sorry you had to put up with me being grumpy and needing help most of the time we spent together
Thanks to my coaches and my training partners and managers!