Rory MacDonald is a man on a mission ahead of his PFL 5 fight against Gleison Tibau and is physically and mentally ready to make the climb up the ranks once again to become an MMA champion.

MacDonald has had an up-and-down career since leaving the UFC. After earning the Bellator welterweight title at Bellator 192 over Douglas Lima, he would lose two of his next three including a rematch with Lima at Bellator 232, ultimately losing the belt.

After the loss to Lima, MacDonald signed a deal to compete with the Professional Fighters League. Following the cancellation of the 2020 PFL season, MacDonald made his league debut against Curtis Millender at PFL 2, earning the first-round submission via rear-naked choke.

Despite the setbacks, MacDonald feels like a brand new fighter ahead of his fight with Tibau as he moves closer to becoming a welterweight champion once again.

“I’ve set new goals for myself that I’m passionate to accomplish,” MacDonald said in an interview with MMA Fighting. “The past few years kind of after I won the title in Bellator, I kind of let myself get comfortable. I think I lost my focus there and unknowingly led me down a trail of not even knowing if wanted to do this sport anymore.”

“A bit of time off gave me a chance to address those issues and get back to hard work and chasing down my goals. I feel like it’s been in my heart since I first found mixed martial arts to be the best in the world and I’m hunting that position down.”

The former UFC welterweight title contender is highly regarded as one of the favorites to earn the PFL welterweight title and the $1,000,000 grand prize this season. Tibau lost his PFL season opener against Joao Zeferino by unanimous decision at PFL 2 and has dropped seven of his last nine fights overall.

The 37-year-old MacDonald is looking to get back on top of the fight game this season, and Tibau is the next step in making that achievement happen. Despite being in the later stage of his career, MacDonald appears as dangerous as ever with a new mindset and approach to fighting overall.

What are your predictions for Rory MacDonald for the 2021 PFL season?