Michael McDonald Announces MMA Retirement At 27

Bellator fighter Michael McDonald has announced that he’s retiring from the sport at just 27-years-of-age.

“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 has suffered from repeated injury setbacks over the past few years, with hand issues in particular having impeded his ability to fight on a regular basis.

That included an almost three-year spell in which he didn’t fight at all. However, ‘Mayday’, who once fought for the UFC interim bantamweight title, does bow out on a two-fight winning streak since joining Bellator in 2017 and despite bowing out when he should just be moving into his prime years as a fighter, McDonald feels that it’s a good decision.

“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.”

McDonald bows out of the sport with an overall 16-4 record, which included a 6-3 stint in the UFC.

Ross launched MMA Insight (previously FightOfTheNight.com) in 2009 as a way to channel his passion for the sport of mixed martial arts. He's since penned countless news stories and live fight reports along with dozens of feature articles as the lead writer for the site, reaching millions of fans in the process.