Taylor upsets MacDonald by TKO, advances to PFL finals
For the second year in a row, Rory MacDonald fell just short of the PFL finals.
Dilano Taylor defeated MacDonald via TKO at the 3:59 mark of the first round in the PFL 8 main event Saturday in Cardiff, Wales, to advance to the welterweight final.
MacDonald, a former UFC title challenger and Bellator welterweight champion, announced his retirement from mixed martial arts on Sunday following the upset loss.
Taylor dropped MacDonald with a sharp right hand and then finished him off with devastating ground-and-pound. The stoppage capped off a strong showing from Taylor, who earlier in the round bloodied MacDonald's face with punches and secured a takedown.
Taylor stepped in on two days' notice after Magomed Umalatov was forced out of his fight with MacDonald due to visa issues. He was the No. 7 seed - three spots shy of a playoff berth - after posting a 1-1 record in the 2022 regular season. The PFL called on Taylor to step in against MacDonald after other alternates Magomed Magomedkerimov and Ray Cooper III were unavailable to compete.
Taylor, who earned a spot in the 2022 regular season by winning on the PFL Challenger Series in February, will face Sadibou Sy in the Nov. 25 final for $1 million. Sy defeated Carlos Leal earlier Saturday to secure the other welterweight final berth.
MacDonald, whose second season with the PFL has now ended, fell to 1-2 in 2022 and 2-4 in the promotion overall.