No Retirement for Jason MacDonald, UFC Says; UFC 149 Bout Next?

Tom Lawlor knocks out Jason MacDonald at UFC on Fuel TV 3 (Josh Hedges/UFC)

Canadian vet wants to end career in July in Calgary

The look on Jason MacDonald‘s face said plenty just seconds after he was knocked out Tuesday night by Tom Lawlor.

MacDonald sat up on his own almost instantly, got to his knees and simply shook his head and smiled as if to say, “I’m fine. I got caught. I don’t want to go out like this.”

The Canadian veteran of 41 fights – 14 in the UFC – has been talking for months about nearing retirement. But ever since the UFC booked its first show in Calgary in his training home province of Alberta, MacDonald’s also been pining for a spot on the card in what he figures would be the perfect way to hang up his gloves – in front of his adopted home fans.

But a 50-second knockout – even if it appeared to be of the flash variety when he was so quickly back to his wits – had people talking retirement sooner than MacDonald wanted, even if it’s just one fight sooner. And the UFC on Wednesday said after MacDonald’s loss at UFC on Fuel TV: Korean Zombie vs. Poirier in Fairfax, Va., that “The Athlete” isn’t going anywhere yet.

“To set record straight following #UFConFUEL3, (MacDonald) never said he’s retiring,” the UFC posted on its UFC Canada Twitter feed. “Tough break last night. Hope to see him back soon.”

The turnaround time for MacDonald to be added to the card at UFC 149: Aldo vs. Koch, which takes place July 21 in Calgary, is about nine weeks, meaning he would go almost immediately into his next training camp. There was no word as of Wednesday afternoon how long MacDonald might be medically suspended by the Virginia Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, which oversees MMA in the state.

At a news conference earlier this month announcing ticket availability for UFC 149, UFC director of Canadian operations Tom Wright acknowledged that UFC 149 currently had only 10 fights booked when the promotion typically has 11 or 12 per event. And he said having MacDonald on that card for one more fight before retiring would seem to be an appropriate way for him to end his career.

MacDonald (25-16, 6-8 UFC) returned to the UFC for his second stint with the promotion, fighting John Salter at UFC 113 in Montreal in May 2010. But he broke his leg in the first round. After nearly a year on the shelf, he returned and scored a first-round submission of Ryan Jensen at UFC 129 in Toronto. But he was submitted by Alan Belcher in September and followed that with Tuesday’s knockout loss to Lawlor, giving him three losses in his last four fights and six in his last 10.

MacDonald’s first two UFC victories both won Submission of the Night. He tapped Ed Herman and Chris Leben in 2006 as part of a six-fight winning streak.