Rory MacDonald kicked off the 2022 PFL season with a more aggressive approach than last year, and that is something he says is by design.
After a disappointing 2021 campaign that ended after back-to-back decision losses, MacDonald (23-8-1) moved his training camp to Texas, to work with the likes of John Danaher and Tim Kennedy. That move has already produced benefits.
In May, MacDonald competed in his first fight of the season, and made quick work of Brett Cooper at 2022 PFL 3, winning by first-round rear-naked choke submission. MacDonald started last year off in a similar fashion, but this year knows there’s something different going on with him as a fighter.
At 2022 PFL 6, MacDonald faces Sadibou Sy (10-6-2) in the co-main event with playoff hopes on the line. It’s a win-and-in scenario for MacDonald. After securing six points against Cooper, he could potentially make the next stage even on a loss, depending on how the other fights in the division unfold.
“I moved my training to Austin, and I feel like that reinvented my mindset, my approach, and it’s just got me in the best shape, best mind frame that I’ve ever been in,” MacDonald said during Wednesday’s virtual media day. “So, I feel like style, techniques that I’ve been working on just drive me to go for the finish. Whether that be in the first round or the last, I’m looking to put these guys away.”
MacDonald has been a part of some of the most memorable fights in UFC history, including his 2015 Fight of the Year against Robbie Lawler for the welterweight title. Despite competing at the highest levels of the sport, the move to Texas at this stage of his career has shown him there are still more things to learn and he can continue to grow as a fighter.
“I moved to Florida for the first season of PFL, because I knew I could train there in freedom,” MacDonald said. “And then, after the first season, I felt like it was time, now that the border was open, to go check out what was going on in Texas and I just fell in love with it. I just felt like that was where I needed to be. The more I kept going and going, I just kept getting better, seeing improvements. It’s just been the best thing for me.”