Just where the hell has Michael McDonald been?
After a busy 2013 that included losses to former UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao and former WEC champ Urijah Faber, McDonald has been shelved.
Spending two years rehabbing hand and wrist injuries, McDonald may be healthy but he's not exactly rushing back into action.
As it turns out, McDonald isn't thrilled about how much he's earning fighting in MMA's premier organization.
"I think everyone has expectations of being a professional athlete, and it's just not exactly what you expect," McDonald told ESPN's Brett Okamoto. "It wasn't very fun after a while. 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."
McDonald scored a marquee knockout against former WEC champion Miguel Torres in 2012 at UFC 145, but only earned $8,000 to show and another $8,000 to win. Torres reportedly earned twice that.
"I knocked out Torres and I barely made any money. That's when that frustration started and it just makes you not enjoy your job. You feel underappreciated and cheated. 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. You start to say, 'Something's not right now. I'm angry.'"
McDonald jumped at the chance to face Barao for the interim title in 2013, but now sounds like he regrets taking the bout set to show for $15,000 and to win for another $15,000. Including a $50,000 "Submission of the Night," Barao reportedly earned $186,000 with a fourth-round arm triangle choke.
"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 scored both "Fight of the night" and "Submission of the Night" bonuses in his rebound fight with Brad Pickett at UFC Fight Night: Shogun vs. Sonnen in August 2013, taking home an additional $100,000 to the $30,000 he earned with the win.
Later that December, McDonald earned $17,000 in his second round submission loss to Faber, who earned a disclosed purse of $200,000.
"If the UFC wants me to fight these great guys like Faber, it's not like I'm looking to play hardball," said McDonald. "But yeah, I wouldn't want to fight him with the pay I'm getting now. So, maybe it turns into a contract renegotiation. Maybe it's, 'Let's hold off and not take this fight right now.' Maybe it's, 'Well, can we get a little more guaranteed money for this fight but keep the same contract?" I don't know what it's exactly going to be, but I have to be taken care of."
5 MUST-READ STORIES
The MMA Beat. The panel discusses T.J. Dillashaw leaving Team Alpha Male, Fedor Emelianenko's return fight, Sage Northcutt, the light heavyweight division and much more.
'He's back on the Fight Pass events.' Conor McGregor responds to Anthony Pettis' criticisms of his resume. "They'll never give me the credit I deserve, but I do not seek credit from them. I seek cash from them."
TBA. No opponent was officially announced to fight Fedor Emelianenko at the upstart Rizin FF introductory press conference in Japan.
Test run. Former UFC welterweight champion Johny Hendricks says he's planning a mini weight cut on his own before deciding whether to go up to 185 pounds or stay at 170.
'It's narrow-minded people.' UFC heavyweight Soa Palelei was "heartbroken" when he learned he was banned from giving back at a children's hospital.
Watch Cris Cyborg throw some dude over her shoulder onto a car.
Ronda Rousey and Joanna Jedrzejczyk struggle with Aussie slang.
Chael Sonnen gives you his top 5 male and female fighters of all time.
Rousey doing her best to sell Holly Holm.
Nice training montage from Gilburt Burns.
Rousey with a nice message for a paralyzed fighter.
If I Did It: TJ Dillashaw caught between Urijah Faber and Bang Ludwig edition
https://t.co/FSBj1a2BpP. Sign and RT #freenickdiaz— Nathan Diaz (@NateDiaz209) October 9, 2015
Back at it.
The champ @rondarousey cooling down on the mits with @gfcdiamond after a good jiu-jitsu session in... https://t.co/I8WOcLqQ38— Rener Gracie (@RenerGracie) October 9, 2015
Get well soon.
Today officially the 1st time in 2months I can put my ankle on the ground Bom dia geral Hj primeriro dia caminhando! pic.twitter.com/f349o4wBFU— Raphael Assuncao (@RaphaAssuncao) October 8, 2015
Jump Front Kicking @danawhite @ufc pic.twitter.com/Cmfq0EF2oW— Sage Northcutt (@sagenorthcutt) October 8, 2015
550 pounds of plates on top of War Wagon and 35 pound Tomahawk Hammer workout with @OldSchoolGymOH pic.twitter.com/u51XNiLp40— Matt Brown (@IamTheImmortal) October 9, 2015
Keep an eye out.
My dog went missing yesterday. Last seen Griffith Avenue, D9 area. If anyone sees him could they please contact me. pic.twitter.com/BKC8urVf3i— Cathal Pendred (@Pendred) October 8, 2015
At the end of @mikebrownmma 's class we picked one technique we wanted to practice @dc_mma https://t.co/ikQGzzLeF8— Amanda Nunes (@Amanda_Leoa) October 9, 2015
That's awesome, nice technique. Better than mine :) https://t.co/Mw8O35aXD7— Daniel Cormier (@dc_mma) October 9, 2015
When I just stared the sport that changed my life.. #Wrestling (17 years young) https://t.co/tTCF0n5Ain— Quinton Jackson (@Rampage4real) October 9, 2015
This Week in Struggle.
Ummm, We started out wrestling and apparently ended up remodeling. It'll look nice finished, BC! #ThingsHappen pic.twitter.com/qgV1ZkPslY— Matt Mitrione (@mattmitrione) October 9, 2015
Damn this thing.... I wanted that giant polar bear !! https://t.co/U8AmhYCMHs— Felice Herrig (@feliceherrig) October 9, 2015
When u know u have pushed urself to the limit....haha this is what I woke up to this am. https://t.co/BudnaPYO6z— chad mendes (@chadmendes) October 8, 2015
That's right...I'm a hot dog in a ring girl competition ..I did t even make it to the finals, those... https://t.co/k8W4H9WG2o— tonya evinger (@tonyaevinger) October 8, 2015
And get punched in the face for a living? No thank you. https://t.co/uLrkhAb7h5— Stipe Miocic (@stipemiocicufc) October 5, 2015
Sad I'm not welcome at Westminster @24hourfitness so where is a gym that has both weights and raquet ball?— Rose Namajunas (@rosenamajunas) October 8, 2015
Still in jail #167 pic.twitter.com/BdpQQyKzkw— Chris Leben (@cripplerufc) October 5, 2015
@georgesstpierre was not impressed with out performance :'( ! @abdelmedjedoub #georgestpierre... https://t.co/usID1Izi82— Olivier Aubin (@MMAOAM) October 5, 2015
After turning off the alarm clock, I gently put my iphone in the glass of water on the night stand... found out later. #luckyday— Siyar Bahadurzada (@Siyarized) October 6, 2015
A man with goat feet just ran up behind me and screamed "PICKLE!!" With arms outstretched. I really am gonna die alone...— Julie Kedzie (@julesk_fighter) October 4, 2015
I understand the reasoning.. @Wendys But not letting me add a sweet tea at the window.. Really? #pretty juvenile #mcdonaldswould— Austin Lyons (@AustinleeMMA) October 4, 2015
The struggle is real #ChampProblems #AndStill uhhhh uhhhhh uhhhhh hahaha https://t.co/F5LhNy9sqS— Luke Rockhold (@LukeRockhold) October 4, 2015
Announced yesterday (Oct. 8 2015)
FANPOST OF THE DAY
Today's Fanpost of the Day comes via jaywolf1.
FRI. & SAT. AsianMMA Extravaganza! ONE Championship: Tigers of Asia & MIMMA3 Preview
I'm pleased to inform you there is an awesome extravaganza of AsianMMA happening this weekend!
ONE Championship & Malaysian Invasion are bringing you an action packed weekend of AsianMMA!
So let's get this party started shall we...
FRIDAY, Oct.9 kicks off the weekend with superior ruleset action! The underrated ONE Championship: Tigers of Asia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, headlined by a MW Title fight between ONE Champion Igor Svirid vs. Russian fighter Vitaly Bigdash.
ONE FC & it's superior ruleset you should already know by now, but if you don't, ONE's superior ruleset allows PRIDErules (soccerkicks & knees to grounded opponents) & ALL elbows (including 12-6s!), & is fought in a Cage so no more re-starts because of ropes! Trust me, it's AWESOME. The MMA action is absolutely sensational even when it's just debutantes fighting!
Take a look at this totally underrated ONE FC: Tigers or Asia full card...
Check out the rest of the post here.
Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me up on Twitter @SaintMMA and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.