McDonald: God wanted me to fight MMA
Michael McDonald, who fights Renan Barao for the Interim UFC bantamweight championship Saturday live on free TV, offers some insight on his faith and his fighting in a recent interview.
If God was responsible for making him a fighter, how can fighting be nothing more than a job, enquire the interviewer. If you believe that God made you something, and did it for a reason, how can that not be part of your identity? This is what prompted the following exchange, after the journalist asked if he didn’t believe that God had made him uniquely suited to being a professional fighter:
McDonald: No. Not at all. I could do anything. I could be a UFC fighter. I could be a pastor. I could be a business administrator somewhere. I can do anything I want. This is just my job, it’s not me. God made me a warrior, but he didn’t make me a fighter in the UFC. I know who I am in Christ, and it has nothing to do with a belt.
Me: Do you think that God wants you to be a professional fighter?
McDonald: I really believe that God wanted me to do this work so I could shine a light where very few of them are. I never wanted to be here when I was growing up. It’s something I was almost forced into, and I fell in love with it in the process. By the time I got old enough to realize what I was doing, it was kind of like wow, this is what I’m good at, and this is what God has placed in front of me, so this is what I’m going to do.
Me: So did you choose this, or do you think it was chosen for you in some way? If you’re in this sport for a reason, was your place in it and your success predetermined?
McDonald: My philosophy on it can be summed up by the scripture that says man determines the path, but God determines his steps. What I did – and I know that I did do this – is I asked God for a hard life. I said, I want to do something special with my life. I asked Him for that very young. I said I don’t want to do something normal. I want to do something special, something that will influence people and something with my life where I could say I had done something with it. I made that choice as a child, and because I made that choice, I believe God put me into this field.
So there you have it. It’s a matter of choice. Kind of. At least, McDonald’s effort to keep “pro fighter” from taking over his identity, that’s a choice, and one he seems to be making consciously, and with a purpose.