It’s a shame with what happened to Michael McDonald. He’s a young energetic, and talented fighter, but he just cannot seem to get over the big fights.
I understand that he is extremely young in his career, but what scares me is that this is his second high-profile matchup, and he lost them both in unimpressive fashion. McDonald’s first big fight was when he fought Renan Barao for the interim title; although he ended up losing that fight, he did have moments of brilliance by rocking Barao on a couple occasions.
His fight against Urijah Faber was something else altogether. The moment the fight started, it seemed like McDonald was extremely uncomfortable and a little hesitant to really let go. He let Faber dictate the pace of the fight and it ended up costing him big time. Faber was able to rock him and then choke him out.
The reason that I am worried about McDonald is that he seems to falter when he gets the big fights. Where was the McDonald who decimated Brad Pickett? If that guy showed up last night, I think we would have seen an entirely different scenario play out.
The other reason that I am worried has to do with habits. Take a look at Kenny Florian; he was an amazing fighter but lost all of his big matchups and since this world is cruel, that is what he will be remembered for the most. Luckily, McDonald is a young fighter and has plenty of time to right the ship, which he absolutely can. He needs to get his head straight before the big fights; the last thing that he needs is another big loss, after which the the public opinion will surely turn on him.