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McDonald: I have no strategy whatsoever

ESPN staff
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'Mayday' Michael McDonald doing it the Bruce Lee way

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Interim bantamweight title contender Michael McDonald offered a fascinating insight into his mindset on Wednesday, telling ESPN he has no idea what he is going to do when he enters the Octagon.

McDonald takes on Renan Barao in Saturday's main event at London Arena, and he carries the tag of underdog due to Barao's impressive 29-fight win streak.

The 22-year-old, who can become the youngest UFC champion with victory, is not like most other fighters though, insisting he has no game plan. For McDonald, everything he does is natural instinct.

"People over analyse fights rather than skill sets. They play the fight card too much. 'What would happen if I fought this person, who fought that person?' It's like we don't change our style for each person. It's retarded," he told ESPN.

"It's like Bruce Lee said, it's not about one style or one technique. It's about what works. If you land and they drop, that's all that matters.

"I don't know what I'm going to do. I have no strategy whatsoever, and sometimes it's scary because right before I walk out I think, 'What am I even going to do?'

"When you think about how things will go in your head, you limit yourself internally to what might happen. Thousands of times, I've stood in front of somebody with no tactics or strategy, and literally just gone from 0-60(mph). That's how I train.

"I don't understand styles and techniques and combinations. That's not the way my brain works. It's all about body concept and the way my body moves. I don't think, 'I'm going to go and throw a one-two-hook because that's my favourite combination'. I don't have a favourite combination, they're not in my mind."

McDonald has displayed his ability to win fights in several different ways during his time in the UFC, knocking out Miguel Torres in his last bout, but earning a thrilling three-round decision over Edwin Figueroa in a previous battle. Does he prefer longer battles?

"I'll answer the question shortly: Hell no!" he said. "It might sound obvious, but you have a better chance of not getting hit in the face if you get it done quick. I'd rather get it done quick and not get punched in the face!

"I hate wars, I hate getting punched in the face. Athletes think about points and decisions, martial artists never think about that. It's not about, 'OK I got that round'. Martial artists are always about finishing the fight."

The winner of Barao v McDonald will hopefully meet champion Dominick Cruz in the summer - if Cruz makes a successful return from injury. Not that McDonald allows himself to think about that prospect.

"When I hear something I don't want to hear, I literally let it go in one ear and out the other. So I don't know what you said about the Dominick Cruz thing, because I wasn't listening to it. Renan Barao is it, nobody else."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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