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Ryan MacDonald Continues to Inspire/Be Inspired

By Brett Hart Created: November, 2017 - Modified: October, 2019

Rodrigo Medeiros and Marcelo Cazusa Greatmats

24-year-old MMA fighter Ryan McDonald learned that was the winner of the Greatmats 2nd Annual Most Inspiring Martial Arts Story Contest after sharing his story about how he pulled out of is UFC debut while grieving the death of his big brother. On October 21, the North Platte, Nebraska, fighter returned to the octagon where he defeated Chad Obermiller 3:42 into Round 2 by submission from strikes at Midwest Championship Fighting 14: In Memoriam.

The win marked MacDonald's 11th straight victory and improved his record to 8-0 as a professional fighter. The bantamweight is currently ranked #5 in Nebraska and #9 in the US Midwest.

MacDonald got his start as a fighter in boxing as a high school freshman, and then after getting beat up in a fight that went to the ground, he began training in Jiu Jitsu under Rob Mitchell.

''I had seen the movie (Never Back Down) and learned there were techniques out there (that would help on the ground),'' MacDonald said. ''I got into jiu jitsu and then later muay thai and the striking arts and fell in love.''

MacDonald says the martial arts have done wonders for his confidence.

''I used to be a real insecure guy,'' he said, noting that he was a afraid he would potentially get into a fight anytime he walked into a room because of is inability to communicate well. ''Now, that I've been training, I don't really have that fear. I can communicate much better because I don't have that fear.''

Now, the owner of his own gym, MacDonald is pursuing more of his dreams in honor of his late brother. The first is to make it into the UFC and the second, to become a world champion.

''Being a world champ means constant training and never looking back,'' MacDonald said.

With that being said, he's not forgetting where he came from and who helped him get to where he is today. Ryan said is brother was an intelligent guy who would make him think about the finer details of fighting.

He is also grateful to win Greatmats Most Inspiring Martial Arts Story Contest as it required a community of supporters to win the $350 grand prize.

''It means so much just because it shows you how many people of are out there that care and really want to help and see you do good,'' he said.

In the first two years of the Most Inspiring Martial Arts Story competition, nearly 50 martial artists have shared their inspiring stories. Read their stories and other inspiring martial arts stories at

Ryan MacDonald
691ON1 MMA & Fitness
North Platte NE 69101