Michael McDonald (MMA fighter)

Michael Robert McDonald (born (1991-01-15)January 15, 1991 in Modesto, California, United States) is a retired American mixed martial artist. McDonald competed in the Bantamweight division of the UFC, where he challenged for the interim UFC Bantamweight Championship at 22 years of age. He also competed in the Bantamweight division of Bellator MMA before retiring following another hand injury.

Michael McDonald
BornMichael Robert McDonald
(1991-01-15) January 15, 1991 (age 29)
Modesto, California, United States
Other namesMayday
Height5 ft 8 in (1.73 m)
Weight135 lb (61 kg; 9 st 9 lb)
Reach70 in (178 cm)
StyleKickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu
Fighting out ofModesto, California, United States
TeamOakdale MMA
RankBlack belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu[1]
Years active2007 - 2018
Mixed martial arts record
By knockout10
By submission6
By decision3
By knockout2
By submission2
Mixed martial arts record from Sherdog

A professional fighter since 2007, McDonald fought mostly in regional promotions in his home state of California before signing with Zuffa in 2010.



McDonald started training in kickboxing at the age of ten, turned to mixed martial arts at 13, started his amateur career at 14, and turned professional at 16 in 2007. He also has two brothers who have professional careers in mixed martial arts. His older brother Justin Smitely is currently signed with Bellator MMA. He trains at Oakdale Mixed Martial Arts with the Last Stand Fight Team.[2] McDonald graduated in 2009 from Grace M. Davis High School where he was voted Best Athlete and Most Likely to Succeed.[3]

Early careerEdit

He gained notable wins on the regional circuit defeating WEC veteran Manny Tapia and former WEC Featherweight Champion, Cole Escovedo. Against the latter, McDonald later avenged his only professional defeat, which also earned him the Tachi Palace Fights Bantamweight title with a second-round KO. In the summer of 2010, he was listed as one of the top rising stars under the age of 25.[4]

World Extreme CagefightingEdit

In September 2010, at age 19, McDonald became the youngest fighter on the Zuffa roster when he signed with the WEC. He defeated Clint Godfrey via first round submission in his promotional debut on November 11, 2010 at WEC 52.[5]

Ultimate Fighting ChampionshipEdit

On October 28, 2010, World Extreme Cagefighting merged with the Ultimate Fighting Championship. As part of the merger, all WEC fighters were transferred to the UFC.[6]

McDonald was expected to face Nick Pace on March 26, 2011 at UFC Fight Night 24.[7] However, Pace was forced out of the bout with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Edwin Figueroa.[8] McDonald won the fight via unanimous decision.[9] The fight was highly entertaining with both fighters exchanging strikes and submission attempts throughout the entire fight and earned Fight of the Night honors.[10]

McDonald faced Chris Cariaso on May 30, 2011 at UFC 130, replacing an injured Norifumi Yamamoto.[11] He won the fight via split decision.[12]

McDonald was expected to face Johnny Eduardo on November 19, 2011 at UFC 139.[13] However, Eduardo was forced from the card with an injury and replaced by promotional newcomer Alex Soto.[14] McDonald defeated Soto via first-round KO, earning Knockout of the Night honors. McDonald clipped Soto with a counter right hand and then swarmed Soto with a flurry of punches against the fence, forcing the referee to stop the bout just 59 seconds into the first round.[15][16]

McDonald fought former WEC Bantamweight Champion Miguel Angel Torres on April 21, 2012 at UFC 145.[17] He won the fight via first round Knockout.[18]

On December 4, 2012, UFC President Dana White announced that the UFC Bantamweight Champion Dominick Cruz had reinjured his ACL requiring surgery and would be out for 6–9 months. McDonald faced the UFC Interim Bantamweight Champion Renan Barão on February 16, 2013 at UFC on Fuel TV: Barão vs. McDonald.[19] McDonald was competitive with capable take-down defense and crisp boxing - particularly in the first two rounds - but ultimately succumbed to Barão's more diverse skillset as he mixed in knees and kicks standing together with take-downs. Barão secured an arm-triangle choke at 3:57 of the fourth round, forcing the tap from McDonald.[20]

McDonald faced Brad Pickett on August 17, 2013 at UFC Fight Night 26.[21] He dominated the first round, almost finishing Pickett with strikes before gaining a second round submission victory with a triangle choke.[22] The win also earned McDonald his first Submission of the Night award, and he and Pickett earned the Fight of the Night bonus award as well.[23]

McDonald faced Urijah Faber on December 14, 2013 at UFC on Fox 9.[24] After a back and forth first round, Faber stunned McDonald in the second with a flurry of punches, McDonald went to the canvas and Faber jumped on him and finished the fight by submission due to a guillotine choke.[25]

After being sidelined for all of 2014 and 2015 nursing a litany of injuries, including hand and wrist surgeries, McDonald returned to face Masanori Kanehara on January 2, 2016 at UFC 195.[26][27] He won the fight via submission in the second round, after nearly being submitted himself by an arm-triangle choke in the preceding sequence of the fight.[28] The win also earned McDonald his first Performance of the Night bonus award.[29]

McDonald next faced John Lineker on July 13, 2016 at UFC Fight Night 91.[30] He lost the fight via knockout in the first round.[31]

Bellator MMAEdit

On March 16, 2017, McDonald announced that he was parting ways with the UFC due to their dealing with him "very dishonestly and disrespectfully."[32] On March 24, 2017, McDonald announced he signed a deal with Bellator MMA.

McDonald made his promotional debut on December 15, 2017 at Bellator 191 against Peter Ligier.[33] He won the fight by unanimous decision.

McDonald next faced former Bellator Bantamweight Champion Eduardo Dantas on July 13, 2018 at Bellator 202. He won the fight via knockout in the first round.[34] McDonald suffered a broken hand in the bout, leaving McDonald questioning whether his career would continue.[35]

McDonald announced his retirement from professional MMA competition on September 27, 2018.[36]

Championships and accomplishmentsEdit

Mixed martial arts recordEdit

Professional record breakdown
23 matches 19 wins 4 losses
By knockout 10 2
By submission 6 2
By decision 3 0
Res. Record Opponent Method Event Date Round Time Location Notes
Win 19–4 Eduardo Dantas KO (punches) Bellator 202 July 13, 2018 1 0:58 Thackerville, Oklahoma, United States
Win 18–4 Peter Ligier Decision (unanimous) Bellator 191 December 15, 2017 3 5:00 Newcastle, England
Loss 17–4 John Lineker KO (punches) UFC Fight Night: McDonald vs. Lineker July 13, 2016 1 2:43 Sioux Falls, South Dakota, United States
Win 17–3 Masanori Kanehara Submission (rear-naked choke) UFC 195 January 2, 2016 2 2:09 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States Performance of the Night.
Loss 16–3 Urijah Faber Submission (guillotine choke) UFC on Fox: Johnson vs. Benavidez 2 December 14, 2013 2 3:22 Sacramento, California, United States
Win 16–2 Brad Pickett Submission (triangle choke) UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen August 17, 2013 2 3:43 Boston, Massachusetts, United States Submission of the Night. Fight of the Night.
Loss 15–2 Renan Barão Submission (arm-triangle choke) UFC on Fuel TV: Barão vs. McDonald February 16, 2013 4 3:57 London, England For the interim UFC Bantamweight Championship.
Win 15–1 Miguel Torres KO (punches) UFC 145 April 21, 2012 1 3:18 Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Win 14–1 Alex Soto KO (punches) UFC 139 November 19, 2011 1 0:56 San Jose, California, United States Knockout of the Night.
Win 13–1 Chris Cariaso Decision (split) UFC 130 May 28, 2011 3 5:00 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 12–1 Edwin Figueroa Decision (unanimous) UFC Fight Night: Nogueira vs. Davis March 26, 2011 3 5:00 Seattle, Washington, United States Fight of the Night.
Win 11–1 Clint Godfrey Submission (armbar) WEC 52 November 11, 2010 1 2:42 Las Vegas, Nevada, United States
Win 10–1 Cole Escovedo KO (punches) TPF 5: Stars and Strikes July 9, 2010 2 1:12 Lemoore, California, United States Won the TPF Bantamweight Championship.
Win 9–1 Manny Tapia TKO (punches) TPF 3: Champions Collide February 4, 2010 1 4:31 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 8–1 Carlos Garces TKO (punches) TPF 1: Tachi Palace Fights 1 October 8, 2009 1 2:01 Lemoore, California, United States
Loss 7–1 Cole Escovedo TKO (punches) PFC 13: Validation May 8, 2009 2 2:25 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 7–0 Jason Georgianna TKO (punches) PFC 12: High Stakes January 22, 2009 1 2:38 Lemoore, California, United States
Win 6–0 Randy Rodoni KO (punch) Gladiator Challenge 86: Day of the Dead November 2, 2008 1 0:47 Porterville, California, United States
Win 5–0 Fernando Arreola Submission (D'Arce choke) Gladiator Challenge 84: Bad Blood September 7, 2008 1 3:49 Porterville, California, United States
Win 4–0 Javier Vargas TKO (punches) Gladiator Challenge 81: Lights Out July 27, 2008 1 1:38 Porterville, California, United States
Win 3–0 Steve Frano TKO (punches) Gladiator Challenge 78: No Limits May 18, 2008 1 1:17 Porterville, California, United States
Win 2–0 Dominic Pena Submission (arm-triangle choke) Gladiator Challenge 76: Alpha Dog Challenge March 17, 2008 1 1:12 Porterville, California, United States
Win 1–0 Joe Corona Submission (triangle choke) Gladiator Challenge 71: Lock-N-Load November 11, 2007 1 1:17 Porterville, California, United States

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Michael "Mayday" McDonald - Official UFC Fighter Profile". UFC.com. Retrieved July 17, 2016.
  2. ^ "Fight Path: Training since age 10, TPF champ Michael McDonald besting family tradition". mmajunkie.com. July 15, 2010.
  3. ^ "Michael McDonald Davis High Alumni". Retrieved 2014-01-01.
  4. ^ "The Top 25 MMA Fighters Under The Age Of 25". bleacherreport.com. July 21, 2010.
  5. ^ "Clint Godfrey returns at WEC 52, meets newcomer Michael McDonald". mmajunkie.com. September 9, 2010.
  6. ^ "UFC and WEC set to merge in 2011; events to air on Versus and Spike TV". mmajunkie.com. October 28, 2010. Archived from the original on May 25, 2012.
  7. ^ "Michael McDonald vs. Nick Pace targeted for UFC Fight Night 24 in Seattle". mmajunkie.com. January 11, 2011.
  8. ^ "Edwin Figueroa Replaces Nick Pace at UFC Fight Night 24, Faces Michael McDonald". mmaweekly.com. March 16, 2011.
  9. ^ Thomas, Luke (2011-03-26). "UFC Fight Night 24 Results: Michael McDonald beats Edwin Figueroa in a thrilling scrap". sbnation.com. Retrieved 2011-03-26.
  10. ^ Morgan, John; Stupp, Dann (March 27, 2011). "UFC Fight Night 24 bonuses: Jung, Hendricks, McDonald, Figueroa get $55K awards". MMAjunkie.com. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved July 5, 2011.
  11. ^ "McDonald replaces injured "Kid" Yamamoto, meets Cariaso at UFC 130". mmajunkie.com. April 28, 2011. Archived from the original on May 2, 2011.
  12. ^ Hemminger, Brian (2011-05-28). "UFC 130 results: Michael McDonald squeaks by Chris Cariaso with a split decision victory". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2011-05-28.
  13. ^ "Michael McDonald vs. Johnny Eduardo added to UFC 139 fight card". mmaweekly.com. September 28, 2011.
  14. ^ "Newcomer Alex Soto meets Michael McDonald at next week's UFC 139 event". mmajunkie.com. Archived from the original on 2012-07-26. Retrieved 2011-11-09.
  15. ^ Hemminger, Brian (2011-11-19). "UFC 139 results: Michael McDonald destroys Alex Soto". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2011-11-19.
  16. ^ "UFC 139 bonuses: McDonald, Faber, Henderson, 'Shogun,' Silva, Le earn $70K awards". mmajunkie.com. 2010-11-20. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22.
  17. ^ "UFC 145: Miguel Torres vs Michael McDonald fight announced". mmamania.com. January 20, 2012.
  18. ^ Staff (2012-04-21). "UFC 145 results: Michael McDonald floors Miguel Torres for first-round knockout". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2012-04-21.
  19. ^ "Renan Barao-Michael McDonald title fight set for UFC on FUEL TV 7 in London". mmajunkie.com. December 6, 2012.
  20. ^ A.J. Perez (2013-02-16). "UFC London: Barao beats McDonald". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2013-02-16.
  21. ^ Bohn, Mike (2013-06-04). "Brad Pickett vs. Michael McDonald added to UFC on FOX Sports 1 debut event in Boston". mmamania.com. Retrieved 2013-06-04.
  22. ^ Fowlkes, Ben (2013-08-17). "UFC Fight Night 26 results and photos: Michael McDonald taps out Brad Pickett". MMAjunkie.com. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  23. ^ Staff (2013-08-17). "UFC Fight Night 26 bonuses: Browne, Brown, Sonnen, McDonald, Pickett earn awards". MMAjunkie.com. Archived from the original on 2013-08-20. Retrieved 2013-08-17.
  24. ^ Martin, Damon (2013-09-11). "Urijah Faber vs. Michael McDonald Set as Co-Main Event for UFC on Fox 9". bleacherreport.com. Retrieved 2013-09-11.
  25. ^ Fowlkes, Ben (2013-12-14). "UFC on FOX 9 results, photos: Urijah Faber drills Michael McDonald, then submits him". mmajunkie.com.
  26. ^ Martin, Damon (2015-11-09). "Michael McDonald returns to face Masanori Kanehara at UFC 195". foxsports.com. Retrieved 2015-11-09.
  27. ^ Alexander, Mookie (2014-11-20). "UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald aims for spring 2015 return following wrist surgery". bloodyelbow.com.
  28. ^ Brookhouse, Brent (2016-01-02). "UFC 195 results: Michael McDonald gets slick comeback tapout of Masanori Kanehara". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-01-02.
  29. ^ Staff (2016-01-03). "UFC 195 bonuses: Robbie Lawler, Carlos Condit win obvious 'Fight of Night' award". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-01-03.
  30. ^ Critchfield, Tristen (2016-05-18). "John Lineker, Michael McDonald booked for UFC Fight Night South Dakota co-main event". sherdog.com. Retrieved 2016-05-18.
  31. ^ Brookhouse, Brent (2016-07-14). "UFC Fight Night 91 results: John Lineker's power shuts down Michael McDonald in first round". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-07-14.
  32. ^ Michael McDonald (March 16, 2017). "Heres some news for ya lol". facebook.com.
  33. ^ Brett Okamoto (March 24, 2017). "Former UFC title contender Michael McDonald signs with Bellator MMA". ESPN.com. Retrieved June 23, 2017.
  34. ^ Steven, Marrocco (2016-07-13). "Bellator 202 results: Michael McDonald KOs ex-champ Eduardo Dantas in 58 seconds". mmajunkie.com. Retrieved 2016-07-13.
  35. ^ Straus, Mike (July 14, 2018). "Bellator 202's Michael McDonald Feels Like Life Is Flashing Before His Eyes After Another Hand Injury". cagesidepress.com. Retrieved July 14, 2018.
  36. ^ "Michael McDonald announces retirement". MMA Fighting. Retrieved 2018-09-28.

External linksEdit