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Michael McDonald unhappy with UFC contract, won't fight 'top guys' at current salary

Mayday! It could be awhile before we saw one of the most exciting UFC bantamweight fighters return to the Octagon.

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images

It has been close to two years since we last saw former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) bantamweight title challenger Michael McDonald inside the Octagon and after announcing a late 2015 return date in September, it appears "Mayday" may have hit a road block.

McDonald has been sidelined with a multitude of injuries and plotted to get bigger during his time off. Now healthy for the first time in a long time, the 24-year-old is in no rush to enter the Octagon after losing his passion for mixed martial arts (MMA).

"I think everyone has expectations of being a professional athlete, and it's just not exactly what you expect," McDonald told (via MMA Fighting). "It wasn't very fun after awhile. 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."

After coming up the ranks in popular west coast promotion Tachi Palace Fights, where he captured the 135-pound belt, the heavy-handed Californian quickly signed to World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC), which was ultimately absorbed by UFC in Sept. 2010.

Then, he quickly rocketed up the ladder and into title conversation, where things began to get murky, according to McDonald. After reeling off four straight UFC victories, including a knockout of the former WEC bantamweight titleholder in Torres, he began to feel under-appreciated.

"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. 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 would bank a total of $130,000 for his win over Brad Pickett in Aug. 2013, following a submission loss in an interim title exchange with former 135-pound king Renan Barao in February of that year, for which he earned just $15,000 in show money.

Not really a large sum of money when you look at other salaries of contenders and champions in other divisions. When you factor in what McDonald would be awarded under the current pay structure of Reebok's outfitting partnership with UFC, those numbers rise very little.

With that being said, it could be some time before McDonald returns and if he has caught wind of one of his fellow bantamweight's comments on salary, the former could be searching for a new job when all is said and done.


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