From the “water boy” to the “Red King” we’ve been watching Rory Macdonald fight at a high level for the last 13 years, but it’s become clear in the last couple years that he just isn’t the same fighter anymore.
He was once deemed the future of the UFC, and he stormed in to his UFC career at 20 years old and almost beat a prime Carlos Condit, Dominating 2 rounds before a facial fracture in round 3 led to him losing the round. The fight was stopped with seconds left when he seemed in no imminent danger, slowing the quick rise of who most thought was a future champion. If the ref hadn’t stopped it Rory was seconds away from a decision win or at worst a draw.
Rory eventually earned a title shot there against then champion- Robbie Lawler. He was favored to win and was on his way to doing so, winning 3 of the first 4 rounds, but he was finished in round 5 in brutal fashion.
When he left UFC for Bellator most people expected him to win their belt and he did, but overall his time in the promotion was a bit underwhelming going 3-2-1 in his stint there, but his losses were to champions and his draw was to John Fitch, so not horrible but he didn’t look the same as he did in his UFC run, and he’s looked notionally hesitant to strike since his Lawler fight, which seemed to get even worse after he moved up to face Gegard Mousasi.
After losing his Bellator championship he signed with PFL. Where he was expected to run through the competition and easily win their championship. And it’s started off that way, he finished Curtis Millender in 1 round, earned 6 points and guaranteed a playoff spot for himself.
He next faced Gleason Tibau and lost a decision, but to be fair this is truly one of the worst decisions in mma history. 2 people on earth scored it for Tibau, and they were judge. Rory out striked, out wrestled and easily won this robbery.
Despite the loss he was still in the playoffs where he faced former champion Ray Cooper III, and Ray absolutely dominated every minute of the fight in a shocking performance and 1 sided decision.
Rory returned for another PFL season and his second season mirrored his first; he started hot with a first round finish of Brett Cooper, once again going to the finals.
His second fight was against Sadibou Sy, a very close fight and Rory once again lost a controversial decision that many fans didn’t agree with. But once again he still made the play offs and in the play offs he got dominated in the semi finals. This time even worse than last time, this time after being dominated for 4 minutes and stuffing takedowns, late replacement Dilano Taylor KOed Rory and ended his run in PFL at a shocking 2-4.
Like most fighters the Red King seemed to fight too long. But overall he still had an amazing career