Rory MacDonald: Ray Cooper III loss stings more than controversial decision vs. Gleison Tibau, going ‘hunting’ in 2022 season


ARLINGTON, TEXAS — Rory MacDonald hopes the second time is the charm when it comes to his run in the Professional Fighter’s League (PFL).

Debuting last year against Curtis Millender in the opening round of the season, MacDonald made good by scoring six points with a first-round rear-naked choke submission. Unfortunately for him, the luck ran out there.

Matched with fellow former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) veteran Gleison Tibau, MacDonald appeared to have been outpointing his way to a decision victory. Instead, the judges gave the victory to his Brazilian counterpart which many — including MacDonald — strongly disagreed with.

“I’d be fine with it, too,” MacDonald told MMAMania.com of a potential 2022 rematch with Tibau. “I feel in my heart I won that fight pretty easily so the judges’ decision was, you know, just their decision. It doesn’t sting as bad as my performance against Ray [Cooper III] because I feel like that was just lackluster and I feel I could do better. It’s more for myself to make up for my wrong with the bad performance I had against Ray. But if I fought Gleison, I think that would be great, too. He’s a great fight and I respect him as a fighter but this time I’d go in there and wouldn’t leave it in the judges’ hands.”

Before MacDonald can get his potential redemption against Tibau and Cooper III, who ended his 2021 campaign, he’ll have to get past Brett Cooper this Friday night (May 6, 2022) opposite Brett Cooper at 2022 PFL 3. Relocating to Austin, Texas recently, MacDonald highlights Jon Danaher and Tim Kennedy as big aids to his preparation.

“I think he’s a tough, durable guy, and he’s super experienced,” MacDonald said of Cooper. “So I’m not taking him lightly at all. I do believe I have all the skills to beat him so I’m gonna go looking for the finish just like it would be anybody else so I’m gonna go in there hunting and I’m very confident that anybody who stands in my way this year, I’m going to take them out.”


MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE results and real-time play-by-play coverage of the entire PFL 3 main card right here, which begins at 9 p.m. ET on ESPN2 and ESPN+. We’ll also provide quick results for the “Prelims” undercard on ESPN+, which will start streaming at 6 p.m. ET.

For more PFL 2022 news and notes click here.



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