Canada’s Rory MacDonald saw his first PFL season go south last year, but the former Bellator MMA welterweight champion got started on the right foot in 2022, submitting Brett Cooper back in May.
That’s his second submission in as many wins with the Professional Fighters League.
As he moves on to the second fight of the season, opposite PFL veteran Sadibou Sy, MacDonald (23-8-1) says his approach was to take every fight as if gold was on the line.
“I’m looking to be the PFL champion, that’s a goal that I’m setting out for,” MacDonald stated during Wednesday’s PFL 6 media day. “So whoever it is along the way, if they’ve made a name for themselves or not, every fight for me is a title fight. That’s what motivates me.”
MacDonald also opened up about the nerves he feels before fights, when asked about fighters like Donald Cerrone openly taking about that very subject.
“You get the nerves, but they’re good nerves. I don’t necessarily get fearful, but I have the natural nerves that well up inside you, those butterflies that tell you you’re about to do something dangerous,” MacDonald admitted. The nerves, however, aren’t necessarily a bad thing. “I thrive on that, I enjoy those feelings,” he added. “It’s something that I expect to be there every single time.”
As far as his recent finishes, MacDonald credits them at least in part to his recent move to Austin, Texas.
“I changed all my training up. I moved to Austin, I moved my training to Austin. I feel like that’s reinvented my mindset, my approach. It’s just got me in my best shape, best mind frame that I’ve ever been in,” explained MacDonald. “So I feel like the style, the techniques that I’ve been working on just drive me to go for the finish. Whether that be in the first round or in the last, I’m looking to put these guys away.”
The move to Austin, where he trains with retired UFC veteran Tim Kennedy, had been planned even before COVID hit, MacDonald revealed, “but COVID kind of blocked travel for a while. Then I was in Florida, because I’d established a relationship with Henri Hooft and the guys there.” After his first season in the PFL, with things opened up, he decided to check out Texas. “I just fell in loved with it. I 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.”
Watch the full PFL 6 media day appearance from Rory MacDonald above. The event takes place this Friday, June 1, 2022 at the Overtime Elite Arena in Atlanta, GA.