At 22 years of age, Michael McDonald has competed for championship gold in the UFC.

And at 22 years of age, Michael McDonald is still in search of that defining victory.

Sure, he has plenty of time left in his MMA career to secure such a win, but there the old saying goes, “no time like the present.” And the present for McDonald is Urijah Faber and UFC on FOX 9 tonight.

A California boy – just like Faber – at heart, “Mayday” and the former WEC champion are eerily similar. However, “The California Kid” has reached the top of the mountain before; now it’s McDonald’s turn.

After coming over from the WEC in 2011 with a pair of decision wins, McDonald finished both Alex Soto and Miguel Torres in the first round to secure a title fight with interim UFC bantamweight champion Renan Barao. McDonald took Barao into the fourth before succumbing to a submission.

Instead of getting down on himself, though, McDonald quickly regrouped and submitted Brad Pickett to jump right back into the thick of things and secure a meeting with Faber.

If you glance at his wins, McDonald doesn’t own a lot over high-ranking names. A “W” vs. Faber could change that.

Faber has constantly been among the best in the lower divisions throughout his career, and his name alone carries a level of respect among MMA fighters and fans. All six of Faber’s losses have been in title fights.

McDonald doesn’t need to finish Faber – though that would gain him another level of recognition. He just needs to figure out a way to solve him and riddle him; not an easy task seeing as the contest takes place in his backyard.

For the Oakdale MMA fighter, this match up is all about gaining the respect of Faber inside the Octagon. The two have talked about their friendship outside of it, but once that cage door slams shut, there’s a different “respect” that needs to be earned by McDonald.

If he can remain upright and keep Faber off his back, McDonald has the kind of mixed martial arts abilities to solve Faber and walk out of the Sleep Train Arena with a career-defining “W.”