UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald is only 22-years old but happens to be one of the top fighters in the division, going so far as to challenge for the title earlier this year. With so much success at an early age, fans might have the impression “Mayday” is driven by competition in the cage and constantly focused on furthering his career. However, the opposite is actually true.
Though MacDonald spends plenty of time working his tail off while training, he recently revealed he makes sure to leave his love for Mixed Martial Arts back at the gym when it’s time to go home.
“I think a lot of fighters wake up and just breathe the title, and I don’t think it’s for healthy reasons. I think a lot of times I think that’s what they find their identity in, and I know that doing this sport on the top level of competition in the world, it’s very difficult to find a balance between having an identity and performing at the top level in the world,” explained McDonald in an interview with the UFC’s website. “Most people who are at this level wake up and breathe this stuff. They’re not married, they don’t have a kids and have a healthy life. Most of them wake up and live and breathe it. It’s rare to find people that are all-around healthy and in the top level of competition in the world in any sport.”
“I try to make a disconnection between my personal life and my job,” he continued. “Occasionally they come together, but my pastor told me this one time and it’s some of the best advice that I’ve had. He said, ‘When you go to the gym to do what you do, you don’t think about anything else and you do it to the best of your ability, and that is what you do. And then when you go home, it’s not time to fight anymore; now is the time to spend with your family and live your life.’ That’s what keeps me sane and keeps me motivated in the sport, having that sever between myself and the sport and not letting myself get consumed by it.”
The 15-2 McDonald will have an opportunity to showcase his skills in the Octagon this weekend at UFC Fight Night 26 where he’ll face Brad Pickett (23-7). Their bout will take place on FOX Sports 1 during the preliminary portion of the card.