Slovakia's Cibulkova, this year's Australian Open runner-up, moved into the Acapulco final when eighth-seeded Zhang Shuai retired after going down 4-2 in the first set.
McHale, meanwhile, had to stage an impressive rally to overcome France's Caroline Garcia 6-3, 2-6, 7-5 in the night's second semifinal.
The 21-year-old will be looking to corral her first career title against world No. 13 Cibulkova, who is 3-6 all-time in finals.
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