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Rory MacDonald retires from MMA following first round PFL loss

“The Red King” has officially hung up his gloves, ending a 17-year fighting career that saw him in numerous memorable wars.

PFL 6 Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Canadian fighting legend, Rory MacDonald, has officially retired following a disappointing first round technical knockout loss to Dilano Taylor in PFL’s 2022 playoffs (watch highlights).

Following the defeat, MacDonald removed his gloves in the cage, but didn’t actually say the magic words. On Saturday afternoon, his wife Olivia uploaded a post to her Instagram Stories that said, “Rory has hung up the gloves and [is] very much at peace with it. To new beginnings.”

Now, “The Red King” has followed that up with a statement of his own.

“My time has come to put the gloves down for good,” he 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 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, 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 yrs old a better man because of those mistakes, to which I’m very grateful I’ve grown up lol.”

MacDonald rose to the top of the mixed martial arts (MMA) world quickly, joining UFC when he was just 20 years old. Teaming up with Georges St-Pierre, there was a lot of hope that he’d be the next great Canadian champion. And while MacDonald was rarely in a boring fight, he never managed to capture a UFC belt.

He lost to Robbie Lawler in his sole UFC title bout, a scrap so hellacious it undoubtedly took years off the lives of both men. MacDonald wouldn’t return for a year, and following that loss he never quite seemed the same. He left UFC with a 9-4 record and wins over Nate Diaz, B.J. Penn, Demian Maia and Tyron Woodley.

MacDonald followed up his time in UFC with a 3-2-1 run in Bellator (earning the promotion’s Welterweight belt) and a 1-4 skid in PFL. While that PFL record includes some extremely dubious decision losses, it became clear that Rory wasn’t the same effortlessly violent fiend he was back when he was terrorizing UFC’s 170-pound division.

“The Red King” gave us more than 1.5 decades of blood, sweat and tears. It was an honor to watch him fight and we wish him the best in all his future endeavors.

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