PFL welterweight finalist Rory MacDonald feels Anthony Pettis and other struggling veterans should be treated with compassion by fans.
MacDonald is set to face Dilano Taylor this Saturday in the PFL Playoffs in Cardiff, Wales. He holds the No. 1 seed in the playoffs following a submission of Brett Cooper and a controversial loss to Sadibou Sy.
MacDonald, along with Pettis, were two of the PFL’s biggest signees ahead of last season. MacDonald and Pettis underperformed during their first stints in the league, with MacDonald losing to Ray Cooper III in the playoffs and Pettis suffering defeats to Raush Manfio and Clay Collard.
Pettis is facing more questions than answers following back-to-back losses to Stevie Ray to end his 2022 PFL season. Despite calls from some fans and pundits that the 35-year-old Pettis should leave the fight game, MacDonald thinks fighters should leave on their terms and not feel pressured by the general public.
Rory MacDonald Feels Some Don’t Understand What Goes On Behind The Scenes
During an exclusive interview with MMA News, MacDonald weighed in on Pettis’ struggles in the PFL and some calling for him to call it quits.
“It gets annoying because you don’t know the scenarios, the things people are going through,” MacDonald said. “As a fighter, I try to keep my mouth shut when it comes to other people’s careers because people go through things in their life. I’ve seen it in my own where you have other things going on, or things you don’t openly talk about.
“There’s a lot of fighters that fight through things that aren’t made public because they don’t want to make excuses, or they just don’t want to be that kind of a guy…fighters have a ton of pressure, they have things outside of the cage, they have to deal with that. I try not to be too judgmental because I’ve been in a lot of situations myself where the critics come out to hunt you down, but they’re not aware of a lot of things that happen behind the scenes. Not making excuses for every loss that I’ve made because sometimes, I’ve just lost.”
Pettis has been open and honest about the pressure he faced during his first season in the PFL. MacDonald has faced similar heat after a title reign in Bellator and some people’s expectations not being rooted in reality.
Fighters like Pettis and emerging UFC star Paddy Pimblett have also opened up on mental health in recent years. As a result of this, the stigma surrounding mental health hasn’t been as prevalent as it once was.
While Pettis may not be the top-tier competitor that he once was, MacDonald believes that fighters like him deserve the right to make their own decisions when it comes to what is in a lot of cases all they’ve ever known.
Do you agree with Rory MacDonald?