For the longest time, Michael McDonald was a top bantamweight contender. But injuries forced him to the sidelines for three years (!), so tonight, in the “main event” of the FOX Sports 1 prelims for UFC 195, McDonald returned to the cage. He damn sure made the most it.
Taking on Japanese veteran Masanori Kanehara, who sports a black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, it seemed as if McDonald was never going to get to fire off one of his heavy hands. And he pretty much didn’t, as Kanehara expertly took him to the ground and controlled position.
Once or twice McDonald tried to threaten with a guillotine, but there was nothing there, and Kanehara continued to work.
Then came Round 2, when Kanehara secured mount and then slipped on an arm-triangle choke that was especially deep. McDonald’s doom was in sight… that is, until he somehow rolled and took Kanehara’s back, sunk in the rear naked choke, and elicited the tap at 2:09 of the frame.
It was an amazing, split-second comeback, and hopefully it signals more to come from the bantamweight star. The division could use another viable contender.