Citing Heart Problems, David Michaud Withdraws From 2021 PFL Season

By: Jay Pettry
Apr 8, 2021

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2019 Professional Fighters League welterweight finalist David Michaud may be forced to retire for health reasons.

On Thursday, Michaud posted on Twitter that he had been diagnosed with a rare condition called a congenital bicuspid aortic valve along with a dilated aortic root. This ailment, which was identified by multiple cardiologists, could result in major damage including an aortic dissection – where a layer inside the heart actually tears. Due to this unfortunate health crisis, Michaud had no choice but to withdraw from his upcoming appearance against Rory MacDonald at PFL 2 of the 2021 Regular Season, and he may not be able to compete in the sport again.

“So this is gonna be a tough post,” Michaud wrote. “After multiple tests on my heart including a cardiac MRI and talking with multiple cardiologists, I have been informed that I got a bad ticker. I have a congenital bicuspid aortic valve with dilated aortic root. Unfortunately I was born with this…”

Michaud continued, “Because of the dilation of the aorta, fighting puts me at risk for an aortic dissection -- a tear in the aorta. That would be fatal under almost all circumstances. For this reason, I will not be able to fight Rory MacDonald on April 29th, and unless anything changes, ever again.”

A three-time Ultimate Fighting Championship vet from 2014 to 2015, “Bulldawg” bounced around multiple promotions including Titan Fighting Championships, Legacy Fighting Alliance and Bellator MMA over the years as a pro. The MMA Lab rep joined PFL in 2019, where he actually dropped his first match to Sadibou Sy.

After his first-round loss to Sy – at the time the second-quickest knockout in company history in just 17 seconds – Michaud rebounded by knocking Handesson Ferreira out. This six-point win for Michaud allowed him to reach the playoffs, where he beat John Howard and Glaico Franca in one night to make it to the finals. The South Dakotan fell short by second-round knockout to season victor Ray Cooper III, and his hope was to run through the 2021 tournament and exact revenge on Cooper. As of now, the 32-year-old’s career will be put on hold indefinitely.

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