UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald confirms that he cannot afford to continue his UFC career.
McDonald’s last stint in the octagon was the loss to John Lineker in July. In a recent story reported by ESPN, Mayday confirmed that he wants to fight, but cannot fund his training camp.
McDonald, an ex title challenger, has been in debt due to funding his training camp in the past. The 26 year old does not want to incur any further debt in order to fight, and has confirmed that he is currently saving with wages from a second job to fund his return to his fighting career.
“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.”
Michael McDonald approximates that he made a total of $53,000 against Lineker. When broken down, this is inclusive of a base pay of $23,000, & a $25,000 bonus to headline the event. The remaining $5,000 came from the UFC’s Reebok deal.
When factoring in all taxes and expenses, the bantamweight states that he netted approximately one third of the pay. Providing McDonald was fit and healthy to fight, he could sustain his career with these earnings. As luck would have it, an injury sustained to his neck knocked his plans off course.
“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 [is] 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.”
McDonald has also confirmed that he attempted to seek help from the UFC regarding his financial situation, but to no avail.
“I wanted there to be a happy ending to this. I told them, ‘Hey, people are starting to ask me where I am, and the truth doesn’t put my relationship with the UFC in a very good light.’ Still, nothing changed.”
Michael McDonald is still within his contract with the UFC, but in simple terms, he cannot afford to fulfil his obligations. Despite this, he will continue to fight. For the 26 year old, he has a goal and intends to meet it:
“I will continue to fight and I will become a UFC champion. This is my dream. I want to live my dream. I’m pretty sure I could be a doctor and make better money. I have the intelligence. Being a fighter has always been my dream. If this is what it takes, I’ll do it.”