Former UFC fighter Michael McDonald is making his Bellator MMA debut this weekend against Peter Ligier in the main event of Bellator 191.
McDonald left the UFC after requesting a release from the promotion and the one thing the fighter didn’t like about the organization was the way the bonus system was used.
“With the UFC’s bonus system and how it’s structured, if you win and you get a bonus you’re doing good, you’re comfortable in life. If you don’t win it, you’re starving. A lot of the guys in the UFC are at that place and it’s not a very good place to be,” he said to MMA Fighting. “Now I’m with Bellator and it’s not the way it is and I’m very happy about that. The bonus structure isn’t applied here with Bellator and because of that the base payments can be a bit better. In the UFC, they used to use the bonuses against you, they used them like a gun to your head. They would say, ‘We don’t want to raise your contract because you’re last fight was this or that’ or, ‘all you have to do is win some bonuses, if you win some bonuses you’ll be fine.’ It was used more like a weapon than a reward, and I’m honestly glad that I don’t have to deal with that anymore.”
The bantamweight contender spent just under five years competing in the UFC, earning a record of 6-2-0 during his time there (17-4-0).
Although McDonald has yet to officially compete for Bellator, the fighter contends that the promotion does believe in him.
“From my very first interaction with Bellator they’ve made it clear that they believe in me and they’re willing to show it, and I’m very appreciative of that,” McDonald said. “They believed in me and were willing to give me what the UFC wasn’t and because of that I feel very valued. I don’t feel pressure in the sense that I have to show them that I’m good and that they were right to hire me. I’m really not feeling a whole lot of pressure coming into this, even personally.”
Bellator 191 takes place on Friday, November 15 from the Metro Radio Arena in Tyne & Wear, England with Michael McDonald and Peter Ligier headlining. Fightful is providing live coverage of the event, which airs via tape delay on Spike TV.