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Former UFC middleweight Jason MacDonald retires from MMA

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After more than 40 professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fights in a career that spanned nearly 15 years, Canadian "Athlete" Jason MacDonald is hanging up the gloves for good.

Rafael Suanes-US PRESSWIRE

You know that "storybook ending" Jason MacDonald wanted? Yeah, that ain't happening.

Even though the former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) middleweight contender promised to return to the Octagon following his knockout loss to Tom Lawlor at the UFC on FUEL TV 3 event last May in Fairfax, Virginia, the time off has forced "The Athlete" to reconsider.

From MMA Fighting:

"I've had a great MMA career. I have traveled, met great people and have done things I would have never dreamed of through MMA. It's been an honor to be with the UFC over the years, but it's now time to move on. I'm getting older, my four kids are growing up fast. I'm going to focus on my family and my CrossFit gym."

MacDonald (25-16) suffered a potential career-ending injury when he shattered his leg against John Salter in the first round of their middleweight bout back at UFC 113 (see it here). It was particularly devastating because "The Athlete" had just fought his way back into the Octagon after securing three consecutive victories on the regional circuit.

All that work just to go back home.

He eventually secured a comeback win at UFC 129 against Ryan Jensen, but would be unable to avoid losses to Alan Belcher and the aforementioned Lawlor. And better to go out on your own terms than hang around and be one of the 100 fighters sent packing.

My favorite "Athlete" memory was his exciting first-round against Demian Maia at UFC 87. What's yours?