It may have only felt like a blink of an eye, but UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald finally looks to keep this train a-rolling when he makes his return to the Octagon at UFC 195, where the top-10 bantamweight faces Masanori Kanehara in Las Vegas.
Long considered one of the top five bantamweight fighters in the promotion, McDonald has faced a relatively inactive stretch of late. He hasn’t fought since dropping a second-round submission to perennial title contender Urijah Faber in 2013 — which has likely been nothing but a heartache for any of the 24-year-old bantamweight’s fans over the past two years.
“Mayday” spent two years on the shelf mending wrist and hand injuries that kept him from inching closer to another title fight inside the Octagon. But it wasn’t just the injuries that kept him away, McDonald revealed to ESPN last month that he’d also grown resentful of the fight game as he watched lesser fighters earn bigger paychecks.
“It’s a problem I made by not getting paid well and fighting the best in the world,” McDonald said to ESPN (h/t MMAFighting). “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.”
But there’ll be no looking back for the top-flight bantamweight when he steps in to face Japan’s Kanehara. With a record of 25-12, Kahehara holds a victory over Chan Sung Jung and Alex Caceres.
Also featured on UFC 195 is a welterweight title matchup between Robbie Lawler and Carlos Condit, a heavyweight title eliminator between Stipe Miocic and Andrei Arlovski and a rescheduled lightweight showdown between Dustin Poirier and Joseph Duffy.