Nobody gave Dilano Taylor much of a chance heading into PFL 8 in Cardiff, Wales on Saturday.
Taylor had been given the nod to step in on short notice against Rory MacDonald, one of the PFL’s biggest names, and a former Bellator MMA welterweight champion — and ex-UFC title challenger.
“The Postman” entered the fight in place of Magomed Umalatov, with the Russian unable to secure a visa to compete in the U.K. MacDonald, meanwhile, was entering his second straight PFL semifinal, after failing to make the finals in 2021.
History would repeat itself on Saturday. It wasn’t long before Taylor had proven the pundits wrong on Saturday, and pulled off one of the biggest upsets of the season. A right hand by Taylor rocked MacDonald, dropping him in the second half of the round. With MacDonald on his back covering up, Taylor piled on with ground n’ pound. The ref gave MacDonald a chance to defend, but unable to, the bout was waved off a moment later.
The entire affair took just under four minutes, and may signal the end of “The Red King” in the PFL. Perhaps in MMA as a whole. After signing with the league in 2019, MacDonald debuted last year (the 2020 season was wiped out by the coronavirus pandemic), only to go 1-1 in the regular season, and fall in the semifinals. With that result being duplicated this year, MacDonald’s time as a top player at 170 pounds may be over.
Dilano Taylor, meanwhile, moves on t0 the welterweight final this fall, where he’ll meet PFL veteran Sadibou Sy with a million dollars on the line.
Official Result: Dilano Taylor def. Rory MacDonald by TKO, Round 1, 3:59