At one point in time, UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald was one of the most highly touted bantamweight prospects on the UFC roster. An 8-fight win streak that ‘Mayday’ rode from the regional scene into the top 10 of the UFC’s bantamweight division had the young prospect fighting Renan Barao in 2013 for the interim UFC bantamweight championship. Unfortunately for McDonald, Barao submitted him in the 4th round of the scrap, putting an end to his 3-year unbeaten streak. McDonald bounced back by submitting Brad Pickett before then dropping a submission loss to Urijah Faber in 2013.
McDonald was then forced to take three years off from the Octagon before then returning in 2016 to fight Masanori Kanehara at UFC 195, where he made his triumphant return to the Octagon, submitting the MMA vet in the 2nd round. Unfortunately, in July of 2016, McDonald was KOd by John Lineker at ‘UFC Fight Night: Sioux Falls’.
Since then, Michael McDonald has yet to sign to take another fight, he explained why to ESPN:
“I’m trying to make enough money right now to pay my bills and still have a little savings for a camp,” McDonald said. “And it’s tough because I don’t know if camp will be perfect and I don’t know if I’ll pay for one, only to have my opponent back out. It’s always iffy.”
“My goal is to fight, but I also have to keep my possessions,” McDonald said. “I’ve borrowed money before and racked up $15,000 in debt in order to train like a professional athlete. And I’ve went through injuries and lost everything, twice. I’ve lost my home and moved back in with my parents.
“The worst part is you never really know if you have enough. You just get this chunk of money and you’re saying, ‘I hope this enough.’ Let’s say I have $20,000 in the bank. I think I’m good, start working my butt off, get injured and need surgery. By the time I get healthy, now I’ve got $5,000. What happens if I get injured again? I’ve had three hand surgeries and taken two years off before. You go into a lot of debt doing that.”
“For the longest time, I haven’t wanted to say anything about this,” McDonald said. “When people open their mouths and talk about how they’re not paid enough, it seems like they disappear. I’m to a point now where I have nothing to lose. The UFC isn’t paying my bills as it is.”
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 1/25/2017.