by Matt Hill – MMAWeekly.com
King of the Cage, WEC, IFC and now Pride fighter Mac Danzig joined MMAWeekly’s SoundOff Radio to discuss his upcoming Pride “The Second Coming” fight with the very talented Japanese fighter Hayato Sakurai, who is the world’s #2 lightweight fighter in the MMAWeekly Rankings.
This will not only be Mac’s first fight in Pride, but also Sakurai’s first fight in the United States in some time. Since both men are well-rounded veterans with many fights each to their credit, it appears that the key to victory in this fight might just be adjustment. Danzig has been on a lot of big stages in his career, but never one of the magnitude that Pride will bring to the table, and Sakurai will have to adjust to the time change and jet lag that he hasn’t been exposed to in a number of years.
The talent of each of these men seems to insure for an entertaining bout that could really have gone either way at the end of the night. Sakurai is a tough veteran who has fought a plethora of very talented opponents and Mac is definitely going to respect Hayato’s abilities when he steps in the Pride ring on Saturday night.
Danzig said, “He [Sakurai] is extremely well-rounded; he’s pretty much good at everything. He really doesn’t have any weaknesses…the only weakness that you could say that he possibly has is maybe he has a suspect chin, but I’ve seen him take a lot of good shots and be pretty resilient.”
Mac continued, “The only other weakness that I can think of is sometimes he [Sakurai] gets a little lazy in his fights…I’m definitely not going to rely on hoping that’s what is going to happen in my fight with him. It just seems like it all depends on how motivated he is…he was super motivated when he fought Jens Pulver and Joachim Hansen in the same night and it was obvious that he was in great shape and we saw the best Sakurai that night.”
Fighting on such a big stage leaves the possibility for big butterflies when Mac hears the roar of the Pride fans this weekend. “This past week I’ve gone under a lot of mental stress,” he said.
Danzig continued, “To be honest with you, I’ve had so many fights that most of my fights I don’t get very nervous and it kind of bugs me, because I’m almost to the point that I’m unmotivated…I’m unmotivated sometimes fighting certain guys and I need that nervousness to kick me in the ass and get going, and I’ve been wanting a fight like this for a long time and now I’ve got it and I’ll be honest with you, it’s very nerve-racking, it’s very stressful, you know. I want to put on a good performance and I want to do well and show the world what I’m capable of, and I’m capable of winning this fight without a doubt.”
So what will Mac do with the nerves when they show up Saturday night? “I’ll put them in the right place and hopefully put my fists in the right place and go home early.”
Saturday night when all the fans have gone home and the lights of the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas have been turned out, what can fans expect to have seen from the Danzig-Sakurai fight? “I’m not going to go into detail, but I’m going to say that it’s going to be the fight of the night,” Danzig said.