Rory MacDonald to make long-awaited PFL debut as headliner of April 29 card

Article by Brett Okamoto

The Professional Fighters League has announced all of its opening welterweight and light heavyweight matchups for the 2021 season, including Rory MacDonald’s PFL debut.

MacDonald (21-6-1) was the company’s top free-agent acquisition in 2020, but his debut was put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Following a year away from the cage, MacDonald will open his 2021 season against 2019 finals runner-up David Michaud (18-6) as the headliner of an April 29 card.

Full Matchups for April 29 Event

Rory MacDonald vs. David Michaud
Ray Cooper III vs. Jason Ponet
M. Magomedkerimov vs. Joao Zefferino
Gleison Tibau vs. Aleksei Kunchenko
Sadibou Sy vs. Nikolay Aleksakhin
Light Heavyweight:
Jordan Johnson vs. Tom Lawlor
Emiliano Sordi vs. Chris Camozzi
Smealinho Rama vs. Jordan Young
Cezar Ferreira vs. Nick Roehrick
Dan Spohn vs. Marthin Hamlet

MacDonald, 31, of British Columbia, has been considered one of the top welterweights in the world for years. He challenged Robbie Lawler for the UFC’s 170-pound title in July 2015 in one of the best welterweight title fights of all time. He came up short via TKO in the final round.

In 2018, MacDonald won Bellator MMA’s welterweight championship before eventually losing it to current champ Douglas Lima.

The April 29 event will air on ESPN platforms in the United States from a location yet to be announced.

Also on the card, 2019 welterweight champion Ray Cooper III (20-7-1) will face Jason Ponet (20-12-1), and light heavyweight champion Emiliano Sordi (22-8) will take on Chris Camozzi (25-14).


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Rory MacDonald to make long-awaited PFL debut as headliner of April 29 card