clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

A week after parting ways with the UFC, Michael McDonald inks multi-fight deal with Bellator

UFC 195 fight photos Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

One week after he parted ways with the UFC, bantamweight Michael McDonald has signed a deal with Bellator. was the first to report the news, and MMA Fighting confirmed with Bellator officials on Friday.

The 26-year-old McDonald (17-4) has long been a top-flight fighter in the UFC’s 135-pound division. “Mayday” fought for the UFC’s interim bantamweight title back in 2013 against Renan Barao, a bout he lost via fourth-round submission. He fought two more times in 2013 — a victory over Brad Pickett, and a loss against fellow Northern California fighter Urijah Faber — before taking an extended break from fighting.

McDonald returned triumphantly after two years away in early 2016 against Masanori Kanehara, scoring a second-round submission (rear-naked choke), but lost his most recent bout against John Lineker (first-round KO) this past July.

In January, McDonald gave an interview to ESPN in which he voiced his frustration with current fighter pay in the UFC, expressing the idea that he couldn’t afford to put himself through a fight camp.

With Bellator, the Modesto native joins an intriguing cast of bantamweights, including current champion Eduardo Dantas, Darrion Caldwell and former champ Joe Warren.

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the MMA Fighting Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of all your fighting news from MMA Fighting