UFC fighter waiting to save for camp
January 26, 2017
UFC bantamweight Michael McDonald is holding off on his next fight until he can pay for it.
An ESPN article recently noted that he is saving up his money for a training camp.
The reason being is that he does not want to get in debt or take loans for a quality camp.
McDonald indicated that he made approximately $53,000 from his last fight in July, a loss to John Lineker. He notes he made $23,000 plus a $25,000 bonus to headline plus another $5,000 from Reebok.
Prior to that, he made $20K/$20K plus another $5K from Reebok ($45K total reported) at UFC 195 in January 2016.
McDonald also pays a tithe to his church (approximately 10% although this might vary) plus some money for a retirement account.
A couple of interesting tidbits from the story. First, I wonder whether his agent/manager would front money for him. I realize he does not want to get into debt but frankly if this is something he wants to pursue as a professional it must be done. This happens in the NFL when college players train prior to the NFL draft. Obviously, loaning money is a business decision but if he there is a possibility for a big payday, it would be reasonable to do this to finance the training camp rather than wait. Secondly, McDonald was paid a previously undisclosed $25,000 bonus for headlining the South Dakota UFC Fight Night card. This is a fairly lucrative sum that he made when he was scheduled to make just $23,000 to show (which reflects a $3,000 step up in pay).
In the end, the story underscores the issue with fighters and pay. But, one also has to question the commitment McDonald has to fighting. While I understand the need to be fiscally responsible, the window for an MMA fighter is so small, one has to think that you have to take advantage of it while your prime years are open and waiting to save for a training camp may forego opportunities you might not be able to recapture.