MacDonald, Bellator Superstar and Former Top-Ranked UFC Contender, Joins PFL

Begins Journey For PFL Welterweight Championship in 2020 Season  

Major Signing Comes Ahead of the PFL 2019 World Championship on New Year’s Eve Live from Hulu Theater at Madison Square Garden on ESPN2 from 7-11pm ET

NEW YORK (December 18, 2019) – The Professional Fighters League (PFL), the first organization ever to present MMA through the sport-season format of Regular Season, Playoffs, and Championship format, today announced the signing of former World Champion and MMA superstar Rory MacDonald (21-6-1) to an exclusive, multi-year contract. MacDonald will make his debut in PFL 2020 Season and will compete for the welterweight title and $1 million belt.  

“Rory MacDonald is a champion, world-class fighter, and MMA star,” said Peter Murray, CEO of the Professional Fighters League. “Rory is a game-changer for the PFL and this signing illustrates our commitment to not only develop great fighters in our league, but to also attract and sign the best MMA fighters who want to control their own destiny.”  

MacDonald joins PFL after a two-year run with Bellator, where he defeated Douglas Lima in 2018 to win the promotion’s welterweight title. Prior to Bellator, MacDonald spent six years in the UFC, with a 9-4 record including big wins over Nate Diaz, Tyron Woodley, and B.J. Penn. 

“I’m excited to join the PFL where every year the world championship and $1 million belt is there for the best fighter, without any games or politics,” said MacDonald. “I believe in the PFL’s sport-season format and fighter-first commitment. I can’t wait to show all the fans and the ESPN audience what I can do while looking to add the PFL Welterweight World Championship title to my fight legacy.” 

The 2019 PFL Welterweight Championship pits Ray Cooper III against David Michaud, one of six world title fights taking place on New Year’s Eve at Madison Square Garden, live on ESPN2 from 7-11 pm ET.   Rory MacDonald will be on hand to size up his 2020 competition.

About Professional Fighters League

The Professional Fighters League (PFL) presents MMA for the first time in the sport-season format where individual fighters control their own destiny, competing in a regular season, playoffs, and championship.  The PFL Championship will air live on ESPN2 December 31 at 7 pm ET following the pre-show which will be shown on ESPN+ beginning at 6 pm ET.  

The PFL 2019 Season features elite MMA athletes across six weight classes, including the first-ever 155-pound women’s division, with each fighter having had two fights during the PFL Regular Season in May, June, July, and August.  The top eight fighters in each weight class advanced to the single-elimination PFL Playoffs in October, where fighters fought twice and won twice in the same night to advance to the Finals.  PFL Championship is New Year’s Eve with the winners of each title bout being crowned PFL World Champion and earning $1 million.  Viewers are delivered next-gen stats never before seen in MMA through the PFL’s proprietary SmartCage™ platform and Cagenomics™ technology. 

PFL is backed by an investor group of sports, media, entertainment, and business titans. PFL is available in 150 countries around the world with leading global media partners.    

For more info visit and follow PFL on Instagram (@PFLmma), Twitter (@ProFightLeague), and Facebook (/ProFightLeague).