SACRAMENTO – At just 22 years old and already ranked third in the world, bantamweight slugger Michael McDonald seems primed for a long and successful career. But “Mayday” believes there’s an expiration date looming on his time in the fight game, and he believes there will be more to his life than fisticuffs.
“I love the sport for what it does, but I’m not going to have any trouble hanging up my gloves,” McDonald told MMAjunkie. “I love my family, and there’s a lot of things I love to do. This is just the first thing of many in my life.”
McDonald (16-2 MMA, 5-1 UFC) meets former WEC champ and longtime MMA superstar Urijah Faber (29-6 MMA, 5-2 UFC) in the co-feature of Saturday’s UFC on FOX 9 event, which takes place at Sleep Train Arena in Sacramento. The fight is one of four airing on FOX.
Faber, who at 34 years old is 12 years McDonald’s senior, is still competing at the sport’s highest level more than 11 years into his fighting career. But McDonald, who could very well earn himself a title shot with a convincing win over Faber, simply doesn’t see himself competing for that long.
Training in martial arts since he was a teenager and kickboxing before he began his MMA career, McDonald believes he’s already put in a significant workload.
“I’m 22 years old, but I’ve already been fighting for 10 years,” McDonald said. “That seems ridiculous.”
Of course, McDonald isn’t suggesting he’s on his last legs. As one of the brightest young stars in the sport, the heavy-handed Californian is likely destined for a few more “Knockout of the Night” bonuses, and maybe even a championship belt or two. But even at his young age, the measured McDonald is already considering what comes next.
“I don’t feel like I’m supposed to be tied down to one sport or one area for the rest of my life,” McDonald said. “There’s a lot of things I want to do, and this is just one of them.”
Check out the above video to hear more from McDonald, including his breakdown of the fight with Faber.
For more on UFC on FOX 9, stay tuned to the UFC Rumors section of the site.