Rory MacDonald calls for investigation into ‘clear robbery’ decision against Gleison Tibau at PFL 5

Mandatory Credit: Cooper Neil – PFL

Former Bellator MMA welterweight champion, Rory ‘The Red King’ MacDonald has called for an investigation to take place following his highly controversial split decision loss to UFC lightweight alum, Gleison Tibau in the main event of 2021 PFL 5 last night in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

Shocked by the announcement of the official decision, Quesnel native, MacDonald appeared to be coasting toward a 29-28 unanimous decision at the very least it seemed against Brazilian veteran, Tibau, however, was left speechless following Tibau’s hugely contentious split decision win. 

Despite the loss, MacDonald will progress to the semi final stage given his points tally across the season, where he’ll meet with Ray Cooper III in the bracket — while last night’s preliminary feature, Magomed Magomedkerimov will feature in the other semi final bracket following his ezekiel choke win over Curtis Millender — opposite Joao Zeferino who submitted Jason Ponet with a second round arm-triangle. 

Speaking with press assembled remotely following PFL 5 last night, MacDonald expressed his disappointment with the result and urged the issue to be looked into.

I’m very disappointed,” MacDonald said. “I believe and everyone I talked to, and everyone online, scored the fight for me. Even three rounds to zero, so I think it was a clear robbery. I thought I was dominant in this fight. It was a hard fight. Gleison (Tibau) brought it, and respect to him, but I believe that I clearly won that fight and I think that this should be looked into.

Following the three round affair, MacDonald explained how he had truly believed he had done enough to secure quite the comfortable decision victory.

I was totally sure,” MacDonald explained. “I was so surprised when the first judge, they announced and scored it for him (Tibau). I was shocked. But when I heard the split decision — that he got it, I was blown away. What do you say? I just didn’t see it that way at all.

The former UFC welterweight title challenger explained how fighters shouldn’t need to worry about incompetent judges and potentially bogus decisions.

We shouldn’t have to (worry), as fighters, as competitors,” MacDonald said. “We should be able to fight and rest easy that we have competent, fair, truthful judges in our sport. It shouldn’t be something that we have to worry about and stick our necks out on the line and out health to do something stupid. It’s just crazy. We don’t have this in any other major sporting event. It just seems like over and over and over again, we’re getting this in our sport and it’s just a real shame.


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