PFL 5 matchups announced; Rory MacDonald – Gleison Tibau to headline

Rory MacDonald PFL
Apr 27, 2019; San Jose, CA, USA; Rory Macdonald (red gloves) fights Jon Fitch (blue gloves) during Bellator 220 at SAP Center. Mandatory Credit: Dave Mandel-USA TODAY Sports

The PFL has announced their matchups for their fifth event of the 2021 season. This fifth event will feature the second matchups between the welterweights and the light heavyweights of the PFL.

In the main event of the evening, former Bellator champion and top UFC contender Rory MacDonald (22-6-1) will be taking on UFC veteran Gleison Tibau (35-15). The fifth PFL card of 2021 will take place on June 17th.

MacDonald will be making his second appearance with the Pro Fight League. He was the promotion’s biggest signing prior to the 2020 season, but last season was cancelled due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

With the PFL up and running in 2021, MacDonald made his debut at PFL 2 when he submitted Curtis Millender in the first round. MacDonald is being looked at as the favorite to become the Pro Fight League welterweight champion.

Standing in his way on June 17th is the tough Gleison Tibau. Tibau lost his opening matchup at PFL 2 by decision. That loss snapped a two-fight winning streak which included a victory over former Bellator champion Will Brooks.

At 37 years old, Tibau is now fighting in the welterweight division after spending the majority of his career at lightweight. He’s been in there with some of the best in the world and he’s looking to pull a massive upset at PFL 5.

Other matchups to watch at PFL 5

I’m incredibly excited to see the 2019 PFL champion Ray Cooper III (21-7-1) compete in a few weeks. Cooper had a dominant first round submission victory back in April to start his 2021 season.

Ray Cooper III made his PFL debut in the 2018 season. He started 4-0 which included two stoppage wins over former world champion Jake Shields. Cooper was then submitted in the finals. However, he bounced back to win the 2019 season and become welterweight champion.

He will be taking on Nikolay Aleksakhin (24-5, 1 NC) on June 17th. Aleksakhin had his first matchup of the season end in a No Contest after an accidental eye poke back in February. That was Aleksakhin’s second appearance in the PFL cage.

His first came back in 2019 when he scored a TKO win over Jesse Ronson. That No Contest snapped a seven-fight win streak. He should be a good test for the former PFL champion in a few weeks.

I’m also very excited to see the matchup between light heavyweights Vinny Magalhaes (19-12, 1 NC) and Antonio Carlos Jr (11-5, 1 NC). The two UFC vets are two of the best submission artists in the game. If you’re a fan of grappling this is definitely one to watch at PFL 5.

You can check out the full lineup for the Pro Fight League’s fifth event of 2021 below.

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