Bellator MMA no doubt sees untapped potential in Michael McDonald.
The oft-injured 26-year-old bantamweight will make his promotional debut against Peter Ligier in the Bellator 191 main event on Friday at Metro Radio Arena in Newcastle, England. His career beset by a rash of injuries, McDonald has fought just twice in the last four years. The Oakdale MMA representative last competed at UFC Fight Night 91 in July 2016, when he was on the receiving end of a brutal first-round knockout from the notoriously vicious and heavy-handed John Lineker. Soon after, McDonald parted ways with the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
Ligier, meanwhile, enters the cage with the wind of a three-fight winning streak in his sails. The 31-year-old Frenchman last fought at European Beatdown 2 on Oct. 14, when he claimed a unanimous decision over Alexander Sasha Pirev at Mons Arena in Mons, Belgium. Ligier has secured five of his eight professional victories by knockout, technical knockout or submission.
With the McDonald-Ligier showdown on the marquee, here are some of the numbers of intrigue surrounding Bellator 91:
3: Straight losses for Valerie Letourneau, who makes her organizational debut opposite Kate Jackson in the co-main event. The American Top Team representative suffered back-to-back-to-back defeats to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, Joanne Calderwood and Viviane Pereira, resulting in her release from the Ultimate Fighting Championship.
3: Sub-minute stoppages on the resume of Pride Fighting Championships veteran James Thompson, who returns to Bellator for the first time in more than two years to face Philip De Fries. Thompson owns an 18-second knockout against Marc Goddard, a 20-second neck injury-induced technical knockout against Aaron Marsa and a 54-second knockout against Autimio Antonia.
4: Losses by submission for Jeremy Petley, who finds himself paired with Lewis Marnach in a three-round lightweight showcase. He has tapped to three guillotines and one rear-naked choke.
5: Consecutive victories for Jackson, a Newquay, England-based flyweight who reached the semifinals on Season 23 of “The Ultimate Fighter” before submitting to a Tatiana Suarez guillotine choke.
8: Promotions in which Ligier has competed as a professional mixed martial artist. They are European Beatdown, Fight Night Series, Lions Fighting Championship, the Unified Combat League, the British Association of Mixed Martial Arts, Strength and Honor Championship, Knock Out Championship and 100% Fight.
10: Submission victories for De Fries. The 31-year-old has recorded eight wins by rear-naked choke, one win by brabo choke and one win by armbar.
15: Finishes for McDonald. They account for 88 percent of his career win total.
95: Combined victories between the eight fighters who are scheduled to compete on the main card.
1,105: Days that will have passed since Ligier suffered his only pro defeat by the time he steps into the cage against McDonald. The Frenchman has gone 4-0-1 in five appearances following a unanimous decision to Mike Wooten on Dec. 6, 2014.
275,000: Worth of post-fight bonus money earned by McDonald while he was a member of the UFC roster. He was awarded two bonuses for “Fight of the Night,” one for “Knockout of the Night,” one for “Submission of the Night” and one for “Performance of the Night.”