Canadian welterweight Rory (Red King) MacDonald to make PFL debut on April 29

Canada's Rory MacDonald, left, kicks Neiman Gracie during the third round of a welterweight championship mixed martial arts bout at Bellator 222 early Saturday, June 15, 2019, in New York. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP /Frank Franklin II

Canadian welterweight Rory (Red King) MacDonald will make his PFL debut April 29 against David (Bulldawg) Michaud.

MacDonald, a former UFC title contender and Bellator champion, signed with PFL in December 2019 but had to sit out last year as the promotion cancelled its season.

The 31-year-old MacDonald (21-6-1) last fought in October 2019 when the B.C. native, who now calls Montreal home, lost his Bellator 170-pound title to Douglas (The Phenom) Lima.

The 32-year-old Michaud (18-6-0) lost to Ray Cooper III last time out in the final of the 2019 PFL welterweight season. He had won seven of eight fights before that.

Cooper fights in the PFL co-main event April 29 against France's Jason Ponet. The PFL said the location for the card will be announced next week.

PFL 2 will also feature 2019 light-heavyweight champion Emiliano (He-Man) Sordi of Argentina against Chris Camozzi and Jordan (Big Swinging) Johnson, runner-up to Sordi, against Tom (Filthy) Lawlor in another 205-pound matchup.

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

The 2021 campaign, featuring six weight classes, starts with PFL 1 on April 23, with each fighter having two bouts during the promotion's "regular season.'' The first half of the schedule takes place April 23, 29 and May 6 with the second half set for June 10, 17 and 25.

Fighters earn performance-based points, with three points for a win, plus bonus points for knockouts and submissions. They are seeded in standings for their weight class based on their point totals.

The top eight in each division advance to the single-elimination playoffs in October, where fighters must fight twice and win twice in the same night to advance to the finals. 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.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 2, 2021

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