It’s been over two years since former UFC bantamweight title contender Michael McDonald has competed.
And for a brief moment Saturday at UFC 195, it appeared as if “Mayday” might be dealt a loss in his return.
McDonald, though, survived a deep submission attempt by Masanori Kanehara and immediately slipped on a rear-naked choke of his own, scoring a second round victory.
“That guy was awesome,” McDonald said. “He had great pressure, some of the best I’ve felt.”
Following a December 2013 submission loss to Urijah Faber, the 24-year-old McDonald (17-3) elected to undergo a pair of surgeries. He rehabbed and returned, earning his first win since an August 2013 victory over Brad Pickett.
“I’ve been fighting since I was 14 and that was the first long break of my career,” McDonald said.
Of the choke, he said “I was having flashbacks to the Renan Barao fight. I told myself I just had to explode out and give it my all.”
Earlier this year, McDonald fell to then-UFC champion Renan Barao, suffering his first Octagon defeat. However, he recovered and returned to pick up his 15th career finish among 17 wins.