Canadian welterweight Rory MacDonald to face Gleison Tibau at PFL 5

Canadian welterweight Rory (Red King) MacDonald. (Ryan Loco/PFL via CP)

Canadian welterweight Rory (Red King) MacDonald will face fellow UFC alumnus Gleison Tibau at PFL 5 on June 17 in Atlantic City, N.J.

The fight at the Ocean Casino Resort will be the second for MacDonald in the Professional Fighters League. The 31-year-old mixed martial artist from Kelowna, B.C., who now makes his home in Montreal, submitted (Curious) Curtis Millender in the first round at PFL 2 on April 29.

It marked the first outing for MacDonald (22-6-1) since Oct. 26, 2019, when he lost his Bellator title to Douglas (The Phenom) Lima. MacDonald signed with the PFL in December 2019 but had to wait for his debut after the promotion cancelled its 2020 season due to the pandemic.

MacDonald (22-6-1) made short work of Millender, taking him down and then securing a rear-naked choke that caused a tap three minutes 38 seconds into the bout. The fighters landed a total of just seven strikes, five of which were by MacDonald on the ground.

The 37-year-old Tibau lost a decision to Joan (The Brazilian Samurai) Zeferino on the same card.

Tibau (35-15-0) fought 28 times in the UFC from 2006 to 2018, with 16 wins and 12 losses.

The Professional Fighters League, formerly known as the World Series of Fighting, works on a set schedule unlike other MMA promotions.

The PFL features six divisions each with 10 fighters, who each fight twice during the regular season. Fighters earn performance-based points, with three points for a win, plus bonus points for knockouts and submissions.

The top four in each weight class advance to the playoffs, seeded based on their point totals.

The 2021 PFL World Championship is slated for New Year’s Eve with the winners each earning US$1 million for being crowned PFL champions.

MacDonald and Ray Cooper III, who won the PFL welterweight division in 2019, lead the welterweight standings with six points.

Cooper, who needed just 83 seconds to submit France’s Jason Ponet last time out, will face Russia’s Nikolai Aleksakhin at PFL 5. The PFL 2 bout between Aleksakhin and Sweden’s Sadibou Sy ended in a no contest when Aleksakhin was unable to continue because of an accidental eye poke.

In other PFL 5 welterweight action, Zeferino will face Ponet while Russia’s Magomed Magomedkerimov takes on Millender and Sy meets Russia’s Aleksei Kunchenko.


When submitting content, please abide by our submission guidelines, and avoid posting profanity, personal attacks or harassment. Should you violate our submissions guidelines, we reserve the right to remove your comments and block your account. Sportsnet reserves the right to close a story’s comment section at any time.