“Mayday” is calling it a day.
Bellator and UFC veteran Michael McDonald has decided to retire after seeing his career limited by hand injuries over the last few years. The 27-year-old bantamweight confirmed the news on Facebook following an interview with ESPN.
“My friends and family, I am excited to announce the start of a new chapter for me and my wife Rachel,” McDonald wrote. “Today I am officially retiring from MMA fighting and I plan on never competing in martial arts competitions again. I had a wonderful career and a wonderful staff, and even greater — a wonderful wife and a wonderful God to thank for all the great moments.
“I am now going to be doing my woodworking full time from here on for many, many years to come. I have been a professional cabinet and furniture maker for seven years now alongside my fighting. I have my own custom cabinetry and furniture shop and i am just as passionate about woodworking as i am about martial arts. I put the same hard work and striving for perfection into my woodworking craft as you have all seen in my fighting career.”
McDonald began his career in November 2007, competing 23 times and compiling a 19-4 record. He challenged Renan Barao for the UFC interim bantamweight championship at UFC on Fuel TV 7 on Feb. 16, 2013, losing that fight by fourth-round submission. After going 6-3 in the Octagon, McDonald made the move to Bellator where he went 2-0. In his last fight this past July, he knocked out former Bellator champion Eduardo Dantas in 58 seconds.
However, that spectacular finish was marred by McDonald injuring his left hand. It was one of several injuries that hindered his career. Since December 2013, McDonald was only able to make the walk to the cage five times.
“This last fight, everything was perfect,” McDonald told ESPN. “This feels good. Most people, when they quit, it’s because they can’t hang. They’ve been beaten out of the sport and their family is sitting them down and asking them to please stop. For me, it’s not a matter of skill or being able to perform, but I’m at a point where the cost is greater than the reward.”