Rory MacDonald Announces He’s Retiring From The Sport

MMA veteran Rory MacDonald has announced he’s retiring from the sport after suffering a first round loss in the welterweight semi-finals of the PFL league play-offs on Saturday night.

“My time has come to put the gloves down for good,” MacDonald wrote on Instagram. “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-year-old kid, I still remember my first day and knowing this is what I want to 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, travelling to all parts of the planet and meeting so many people.

“I’ve learned so much about myself through this career, not all of it good. And I’ve made so many mistakes along the way, but here I am 33 years old a better man because of those mistakes, to which I’m very grateful I’ve grown up.”

The 33-year-old MacDonald had been going up against a short-notice opponent in Dilano Taylor on Saturday night, who improved his record to 10-2 with a first round TKO victory over MacDonald.

MacDonald’s professional career actually began when he was just 16-years-old and he was just 20 when he signed to the UFC with a 9-0 record and was quickly tagged as a future star of the sport and potential champion thanks to his well-rounded skill-set for his age.

With nine wins from his first 11 fights in the UFC against the likes of Tyron Woodley, Demian Maia, Nate Diaz, BJ Penn and Jake Ellenberger, MacDonald appeared to be living up to the hype as he headed into a welterweight title fight with Robbie Lawler back in 2015. It proved to be a bloody war between the two, which he’d lose by TKO in the fifth round after badly breaking his nose much earlier in the fight, an injury that would continue to plague him for years to come.

In his next fight MacDonald lost by unanimous decision to Stephen Thompson, and then despite still being considered a leading welterweight, the 27-year-old decided to leave the UFC in favor of a more lucrative offer from Bellator.

At first it was a move that bore fruit as MacDonald would pick up wins over Paul Daley and Douglas Lima to be crowned Bellator’s welterweight champion. An ambitious move up to middleweight to challenge for that belt against Lyoto Machida didn’t pay off though, suffering a second round TKO loss.

Back at welterweight he’d attempt to defend his title two more times, retaining it via majority draw against Jon Fitch and defending it against Nieman Gracie, before losing the belt after a unanimous decision loss to Douglas Lima.

MacDonald then left Bellator and signed for the PFL, but he was never able to find success during his two year run in the promotion, losing four of his six fights before announcing his retirement.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.