Bantamweight Standout Michael McDonald Announces His Retirement

Bellator 202 Michael McDonald
Michael McDonald (left) Credit: Bellator MMA

After suffering yet another hand injury following his latest win, Bellator and former UFC bantamweight standout Michael McDonald has decided to call it a career.

Just over a month ago, Michael McDonald got the bad news. Yet again, he’d need to undergo hand surgery. ‘Mayday’ was coming off a knockout win of former Bellator champ Eduardo Dantas. It was one of the biggest wins of McDonald’s career 23-fight career. As it turns out, it will also be the last. McDonald announced Friday that he is retiring from mixed martial arts, the result of multiple hand injuries that have prevented him from competing on a regular basis.

In a statement on Instagram, McDonald said that he’ll focus on his woodworking business.

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My friends and family, I am excited to announce the start of a new chapter for me and my wife Rachel. Today I am officially retiring from MMA fighting and I plan on never competing in martial arts competitions again. I had a wonderful career and a wonderful staff, and even greater- a wonderful wife and a wonderful God to thank for all the great moments. I am now going to be doing my woodworking full time from here on for many many years to come. I have been a professional cabinet and furniture maker for 7 years now along side my fighting. I have my own custom cabinetry and furniture shop and i am just as passionate about woodworking as i am about martial Arts. I put the same hard work and striving for perfection into my woodworking craft as you have all seen in my fighting career. Here is a brief write up of my retirement and the reasons why from my friend Brett Okomoto from ESPN.

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Elaborating on the subject to ESPN, McDonald added that “Most people, when they quit, it’s because they can’t hang. They’ve been beaten out of the sport and their family is sitting them down and asking them to please stop. For me, it’s not a matter of skill or being able to perform, but I’m at a point where the cost is greater than the reward.”

Following surgery in August stemming from the Dantas fight, McDonald also suffered a medical mishap. An anesthesiologist’s error resulted in his left arm being immobilized. “My entire left arm is about half the size of my right arm,” McDonald said. “It’s unusable. I can’t even pick up a cup of water. It’s possible my left bicep never comes back to use.”

McDonald, who says he asked God for a sign as to whether he should continue fighting, sees the situation as a clear answer. The former WEC vet, who challenged Renan Barao for the UFC’s interim bantamweight title in 2013, finishes his career at 19-4, with notable wins over Dantas, Brad Pickett, Miguel Torres, and UFC flyweight title challenger Chris Cariaso.

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