One week ago, Dilano Taylor's 2022 PFL season was officially over. Now, the 25-year-old is headed to the welterweight finals.
Taylor (10-2) advanced to the 170-pound championship with a stunning TKO over Rory MacDonald (23-9-1) at 3:59 of the first round of their semifinal matchup Saturday. Taylor initially missed the 2022 playoffs after going 1-1 in the regular season, but was called upon as a late replacement against MacDonald after No. 4-seed Magomed Umalatov was forced to withdraw due to visa issues.
The finish came courtesy of a stinging right hand by Taylor in the center of the cage. MacDonald, of British Columbia, was badly hurt by the shot and referee Marc Goddard quickly waved it off. The finish sets up a welterweight finals matchup between Taylor and Sadibou Sy (12-6), who advanced Saturday by defeating Carlos Leal via unanimous decision.
A former UFC title challenger and Bellator MMA welterweight champion, MacDonald immediately exited the cage after the loss. He did not immediately comment on his fighting future.
Also Saturday, heavyweights Ante Delija (22-5) and Matheus Scheffel (17-8) punched their tickets to the 2022 finals. Delija, of Croatia, did so by taking out Brazilian prospect Renan Ferreira in the first round. Delija survived an early cut to the top of his head, took Ferreira down and cruised to a ground-and-pound finish. Scheffel defeated another late replacement in Juan Adams, who replaced No. 1 seed Denis Goltsov (who also was forced off the card due to visa issues).
The PFL finals take place Nov. 25 at a location to be announced.