- (Photograph: Twitter/Michael McDonald)
Michael McDonald, 21-year-old undefeated bantamweight fighter who defeated 31-year-old WEC champion Miguel Torres in a first-round knockout during Saturday's UFC 145, had to also overcome his church's disapproval of his sport before competing. Still, McDonald used his recent win to glorify God.
Although McDonald managed to knock out a tough opponent in the first round, he spoke about the obstacles he faced that caused him to switch churches while pursuing his career as a mixed martial artist.
"My previous church, the pastor wasn't really for it," McDonald admitted in an MMAMania report. "The older generation was like 'Uh, yeah, whatever, you beat someone up and say you give the glory to God by punching someone in the face, you're crazy.'"
Despite the setback with his church home, McDonald said he was able to find an understanding church where he could practice both his faith and his craft. The 21-year-old who is nicknamed "Mayday" said he even practiced sparring with his church pastor.
"I'm in a very understanding, non-denominational Protestant church now. I got to spar with the pastor a little bit and talk to the kids," McDonald said in the MMA Mania report. "My church has been extremely supportive about it. He was a big guy, like 350. It was cool for the little kids to see little guy fight big guy and little guy not lose, then get to talk to them about it."
After beating Torres, a former WEC champion with over 40 fights under his belt compared to McDonald's 17, the younger fighter praised God.
"That all this assembly may know the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord's," McDonald tweeted from 1 Samuel 17:47. "Praise God! What an absolutely amazing night! I can't believe it's finally over."