by Mitch Gobetz – MMAWeekly.com
Jason MacDonald has one major saying: “I’m nobody’s stepping stone.” After his performance on Saturday night, nobody will ever think of him that way again. “The Athlete’s” impressive performance in his victory over Chris Leben puts him right in the mix as a contender in the 185 lb. division.

After successfully disposing of Team Quest members’ Chris Leben and Ed Herman, MacDonald has everyone in the middleweight division looking at him. His fight with Leben was a good test for MacDonald. It wasn’t the most technical fight at times, but it was definitely an exciting one. “It was a bit of an ugly fight, but it was a win,” said MacDonald on MMAWeekly Radio.

MacDonald spoke with UFC middleweight contender Mike Swick prior to the fight and Swick advised him ‘not to get in a brawl with him.’ MacDonald admitted he ended up in a brawl with him at times. When the fight went to the ground, Jason had no intention of trying to submit “The Crippler.” “Initially my intention was not to submit him with the guillotine,” MacDonald acknowledged.

Jason admitted that he wasn’t letting go of the hold until the referee pulled him off. “Before the fight, Steve Mazzagatti said that there were problems with fighters tapping, and then claiming they didn’t tap. He said not to let go until the referee stops the fight.”

The future looks bright for the young Canadian. He has been on the most watched live MMA special in North America when he submitted Ed Herman on the Tito Ortiz vs. Ken Shamrock 3 card, and then submitted Chris Leben on UFC 66, which was probably the most ordered PPV in UFC history. When asked how he felt about fighting in the big shows, he replied modestly saying, “for sure, I’m honored to go out there and fight for the UFC and do my job. I’m doing what I like to do, and that’s fight.”

There has been much speculation that his next fight will be against the former middleweight champion Rich Franklin. MacDonald is not crazy about the proposition, but not because he is afraid. “A Rich Franklin fight is not a great fight for me, he’s coming off a loss and I’m coming off two wins, but it is Rich Franklin and he is one the top middleweights in the world.” While speculation has pointed to Franklin, MacDonald would like to dispose of another TUF fighter in Kendall Grove. “He beat Ed Herman and so did I. That’s the fight I’m looking for is Kendall Grove.” Joe Silva has mentioned that he has a “surprise” for Jason’s next fight. One thing is for sure, whomever he does fight, MacDonald will not take him lightly.