by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
The past twelve months have been very good to King of the Cage Lightweight Champion Mac Danzig. Starting last October when Danzig took the belt from incumbent Takumi Nakayama he’s been on a tear winning all three bouts this year, raising his winning streak to an impressive 11 in a row.
Not only have things been good to Mac inside the ring, but his popularity within the MMA community continues to grow and he’s been able to parlay that into some of the all-important mainstream exposure.
Never one to take much of a break, Danzig returns to action this weekend in Calgary, Alberta Canada to defend his belt against another tough opponent.
“I’m defending my title up in Calgary in King of the Cage Canada against John Mahlow,” said Mac about his upcoming fight. “He’s a pretty tough fighter; it’s tough because I don’t know more about him. He’s got a good record, he’s 8-4 and I heard he’s been training at the Miletich camp the past month and a half getting ready for this.”
Danzig continued, “Everybody’s gunning for me and this is one of those fights that’s kind of hard…beating him doesn’t do a lot for me but if I lose to him it doesn’t put me in a good situation, so it’s a must-win fight.”
Since becoming Champion last year, Mac has had no shortage of fighters who want a piece of him and his title.
“The fights just keep getting harder,” admitted Mac of his title reign. “People whenever they have a title shot put that 110% extra effort into the fight. Beating me does a lot for somebody’s career that’s up and coming up right now, trying to get their name in the mix. So I’ve noticed that the fights just keep getting harder no matter whom I’m fighting.”
“That’s fine because it’s all about experience and I just want to fight the best guys and biggest names out there so hopefully this is a step towards that,” added Mac.
If you think that Danzig hasn’t kept up his own training regimen to combat that of his opponents think again. As Mac explained, his opposition aren’t the only ones looking to expand on their skills.
“I was in Vegas for a little bit training at the Xyience camp with some of the guys up there and then I ended up going up and training with Team Tompkins with Shawn Tompkins, Sam Stout, Chris Hordecki and Mark Hominick. That was a really good camp to help me prepare for this fight,” said Danzig of his preparations for this weekend’s bout.
Danzig further commented, “At Tompkins’ we did nothing but really hard sparring. Those guys had great cardio and it’s good to go against guys like Hominick that are a step ahead of me striking, who are faster and have been doing it longer. It’s great to just get in there and mix it up with those guys and it’s boosted my confidence a lot for this fight.”
Now that he’s had more exposure thanks to his performances over the past year, Mac has become increasingly more recognizable to the community, something that continues to surprise him.
“I’ve noticed that people are recognizing me more and approaching me a lot more,” admitted Danzig. “Online I’m getting more fan email and I notice that people are talking about me a bit more. In public I’ve been noticed a little bit more also, which is weird for me because I never experienced that before [laughs]. I’m just looking to keep expanding on that and get my name out there and get in one of those bigger shows.”
As for those bigger shows, according to Mac it may not be long before you see him getting his opportunity to face some of the best competition in the world.
“Coming up I should be getting a shot in a bigger show,” exclaimed Danzig. “Right now I’m negotiating with the biggest American show and I have to put those negotiations in with the King of the Cage. So it’s a three-way thing I’m trying to work out right now. If that falls through then there’s possibly for the next Bushido or the one after that.”
“I was actually going to replace Chris Brennan in the fight against [Tatsuya] Kawajiri when he almost pulled out with the spider bite, but he decided to go ahead and fight anyway. I missed that opportunity but it got me on the minds of the people that run PRIDE and Bushido and they’re interested in me. So if the negotiations don’t work out between KOTC, myself and the big show here then Bushido is looking like a very distinct possibility,” added Mac.
Danzig concluded by wanting to thank his sponsors, those who’ve helped him out and by sending a message to the fans who will be up in Calgary to see him put his belt on the line.
“I want to say thanks to Warrior Wear, they’ve been with me the whole time,” said Mac. “Thanks to PETA as well. I want to say a big thanks to Team Tompkins, Shawn Tompkins for helping me out with my training before this fight. I just want to let the fans know that I’m giving it 100% in Canada and defend my title. That’s what I try do every single time, that’s the plan and that’s what I’m gunning for.”