It’s been a long road back for Jason MacDonald. | Photo: Sherdog.com
The last time Jason MacDonald fought in the UFC, he broke his tibia and his fibula. He’s been waiting nearly a year to get back in there, though.
“Of all my fights, other than a few stitches, I’ve never suffered any major injuries,” MacDonald said recently on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “Beatdown” show. “No broken bones, nothing seriously hurt. For me it was a big shock to come away from a fight waking up in the hospital, getting rolled into surgery.”
To make matters worse, MacDonald had a loss tacked on to his record in what was his UFC return. After getting cut from the promotion in 2009, he fought four times to work his way back to the Octagon. Then just 2:42 into the first round of his bout against John Salter, MacDonald mangled his ankle while trying to defend a takedown.
“To have it all torn away from you with a busted ankle is definitely a huge disappointment, but there’s a light at the end of the tunnel,” MacDonald said. “Here I am in Toronto, biggest card in history, and I’m able to redeem myself.”
MacDonald battles Ryan Jensen on Saturday in a UFC 129 prelim bout. He’s come a long way since his injury, which had left him thinking his best days were behind him. As the ankle improved, his mindset did too.
“It’s definitely been a grind to try to get back on my feet,” MacDonald said. “I spent all last summer in a cast and then trying to get back up on my feet and get walking. But that’s behind me now. The ankle’s back to 100 percent. I don’t even think about it in training, and that’s what tells me it’s back to 100 percent.”
MacDonald expects Jensen to push the pace early. He plans on weathering the storm and finishing the fight in a later round.
“He’s all over you in the first round,” MacDonald said. “I expect him to come out hard and fast and be very tough, set a fast pace and be really aggressive. Fortunately for me, if you look at his record, he tends to fade later in the fight.”
At 2-3 in his last five fights, the bout could be a must-win for Jensen. MacDonald also thinks his job is on the line.
“At 35 years old, I’m not sure that I’m going to be making a run for the title anytime soon,” MacDonald said. “But the reality is you never know in mixed martial arts. You see guys right now, they piece together a couple of big wins and all of a sudden they’re in [line] for a title. … Right now I’m concentrating on Ryan Jensen and fighting for my job.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning 31:10).