PFL welterweight David Michaud, a finalist in the 2019 season who was scheduled for the main event of the promotion’s season-opening event on April 23, announced his retirement from fighting in a social media post on Thursday, citing a heart condition.
“So this is gonna be a tough post,” Michaud, 32, wrote on Twitter. “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.”
Michaud told ESPN that the condition initially was discovered during a physical exam in advance of his scheduled fight against new PFL signee and former Bellator champion Rory MacDonald.
“I had an abnormal EKG on my physical that I was going to send to the PFL and the [athletic] commission, so they told me I needed additional testing on my heart,” Michaud said in a text to ESPN.
Michaud’s tweet said he was diagnosed with a congenital bicuspid aortic valve with a dilated root.
“Because of the dilation of the aorta, fighting puts me at risk for an aortic dissection — a tear in the aorta,” he wrote in his Twitter post. “That would be fatal under almost all circumstances.”
Michaud told ESPN that he will have his heart checked every six months. He also said that if the condition worsens, he will require surgery.
A native of the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, Michaud (18-6) trains at The MMA Lab in Glendale, Arizona. He lost the 2019 PFL final to Ray Cooper III by second-round TKO. Prior to his season in that promotion, he had competed in Bellator and the UFC.
The PFL did not respond immediately to ESPN’s inquiry about the plan for MacDonald’s debut or for the 2021 welterweight season.