In a bantamweight division thirsty for new contenders, 24-year-old Michael “Mayday” McDonald has been talked about as a possible bright spot. Despite having not competed since 2013, McDonald still sits at No. 5 in the rankings, and it seems as if he’s finally injury free, but that doesn’t mean he’ll be taking on any top 135-pounders soon.
Apparently the young fighter has lost some of his passion for the fight game, something that may be attributed to the lack of money he’s earned:
“I think everyone has expectations of being a professional athlete, and it’s just not exactly what you expect,” McDonald told ESPN.com (via MMA Fighting). “It wasn’t very fun after awhile. I didn’t feel any passion for fighting or the people around me. I’d say things started to get complicated after the Miguel Torres fight. Money was something I’ve never wanted to focus on, but when I look around and see people who I’m beating making a lot more than me, I started to feel angry and resentful.”
It seems as if money is definitely the biggest issue for “Mayday”, as he added that he’s not going to fight the best guys in the world with the pay that he’s given:
“You don’t want to go out and fight the best fighters in the world, then go home and wonder if you can pay your bills. It’s a problem I made by not getting paid well and fighting the best in the world,” said McDonald. “It’s a difficult situation but I think we’re going to get through it. There’s no way I’m going to fight top guys for the pay I’m getting, especially when they’re getting so much more than me.”
McDonald is 5-2 inside of the Octagon, with his only two loses coming at the hands of former champions Renan Barao, and Urijah Faber. However, if his passion, and love for the sport isn’t there he could find some problems.
Also, McDonald hasn’t fought since the UFC’s blockbuster, yet controversial deal with Reebok was signed, in which he would probably earn less from, most likely leading to more anger.
Fighter pay seems to be a growing topic in mixed martial arts (MMA). How big is the issue?