by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
As MMA continues to grow in popularity the sport is quickly spreading into many facets of the mainstream culture. One of the latest examples of this is King of the Cage Lightweight Champion Mac Danzig’s recent feature on the PETA2 website [www.peta2.com].
Most fans have come to know Danzig lately as one of the sport’s best 155lb fighters, having held the KOTC belt for nearly a year, but few may know that he’s also a vegan and an animal rights advocate.
PETA is of course one of the world’s largest organizations dedicated to animal rights and supporting vegetarian lifestyles. So it was only appropriate that they reached out to Danzig to be part of their highly successful PETA2 website that is geared towards a younger crowd.
“They actually contacted me because I’m one of the people out there that’s an up-and-coming vegan athlete,” said Mac. “They found out about me through my fighting and contacted me to do an interview.”
For Danzig it’s not only great exposure for him and his career, but it also is an opportunity to integrate two things in life he most enjoys.
“I’m honored that they contacted me,” exclaimed Mac. “It’s a pretty cool way to get people that are involved with the animal rights movement and vegan lifestyle exposed to and involved in MMA.”
Danzig continued, “It makes me happy that two things that I’m really into and feel strongly about to see them both together. I get a lot of people that may not be so interested into animal rights so much but they take my diet advice and there are quite a few people I train with that have switched to a vegetarian diet. It’s great for helping them cut weight and they say they feel better.”
The enthusiasm Mac feels for the chance to bring MMA and PETA together is also shared by the organization.
“Mac Danzig’s interview fits well into PETA2.com,” commented Anna West, PETA’s Director of Written Communications. “We’re excited about exposing MMA fans to our no-holds-barred website and as an MMA fan I’m happy to expose our regular web site visitors to a skilled fighter and a great sport. I hope to have more MMA features on our site in the future.”
Danzig admits this is also a good way for him to clear up common misconceptions people may have about vegetarian lifestyles and animal rights.
“When people see my success and see that I’m a vegan and that I’m not a 90lb hippy or something [laughs] they’re surprised and get very curious about everything,” explained Mac. They ask me about my diet and how I feel doing it, and I’m happy to answer their questions or give them advice on it. I don’t try to force anybody down anyone’s throat or tell them that they shouldn’t eat meat, that’s not the kind of person that I am.”
The PETA2 website has also done its share to open up its message to a wide variety of people by featuring Danzig alongside such heavy bands as Sepultura and Napalm Death as well as pop culture icon Simon Cowell of TV’s top-rated American Idol.
While getting a chance to show another side of himself to the world and help cross-promote things he cares for is big for Mac, he’s first and foremost focused on his blossoming fight career.
“Right now I’m scheduled to fight John Mahlow in King of the Cage Canada on September 29th,”concluded Danzig. “He’s like 8-4, on a four-fight winning streak and is a pretty tough guy. He’s an exciting fighter so I’m looking forward to defending my title against him in Canada.”