Top Bellator bantamweight contender Michael McDonald is evaluating if he will continue to compete in MMA after what he believes is yet another hand injury following his Bellator 202 victory.
McDonald (19-4) showcased one of the best performances of his fighting career last Friday, when he knocked out former Bellator bantamweight champion Eduardo Dantas in just 48 seconds in the Bellator 202 co-main event in Thackerville, Okla.
After breaking his right hand in his Bellator debut in December, McDonald, 27, is almost completely sure that he now broke his left hand during his last scrap against Dantas.
“I need to do a lot more thinking,” McDonald told reporters after Bellator 202. “I feel like my life is kind of flashing before my eyes when this keeps happening. This is my fifth hand surgery. It’s going to be my fifth hand surgery in five, six years or something like that. It’s not how I want to live my life. That’s not what I was expecting when I signed up for this. It hurts inside.”
Even though he is yet to receive an official diagnosis, McDonald said that he's gone through enough hand injuries and surgeries to know the seriousness of this one.
“They showed the X-rays on the screen before the fight of my hand and this one feels exactly like that one, and that one was the worst one,” McDonald stated. “This one feels identical, so that sucks. So I’m positive I’m going to need surgery. I’m super glad they’re going to pay for it, but you never hope that happens.”
Eduardo Dantas also suffered a gruesome injury during the fight, when he rolled his ankle badly as he fell from McDonald's knockout punch and was carried out of the cage with a splint on his leg. McDonald stated that he felt bad for Dantas and wished him success in his recovery.
McDonald admitted that his health will always come first, and that right now he needs to focus on that before analyzing what is next in his MMA career. If the injury would not be too serious and he could possibly return to the competition soon, the fighter would be next in line for a title match against Darrion Caldwell (12-1), but he said that it is a bridge to cross when he comes to it.
“I’ve never been like, ‘I have to be the champ, I have to get this guy,'” McDonald said. “I’ve said it before: I don’t know what media requirements Bellator will have of me, I don’t know what the life would look like if I was their champion. Everyone wants to be champion, but I don’t exactly know how much they’d want me to fight, I don’t know how much they’d want me to talk, or how much they’d want me to travel. I can’t say anything about it because I don’t know anything about it. I’ve never been it.”