In kicking off his current three-fight winning streak, flyweight up and comer Klayton Mai picked up a win over a fighter he’s going to be facing again this month for a title in Matt Schnell.
At Legacy FC 32 in 2014, Mai defeated Schnell, and has since gone on two finish his next two opponents, giving him a lot of momentum heading into their upcoming rematch.
“My coach let me know that Jason Sampson was filling in for Damacio Page (against Schnell), and Jason trains with us at The Octagon, and Jason got hurt, so my coach gave me this opportunity. Things are progressing great.”
The difference between their first bout in 2014 and this upcoming fight is this time the Legacy FC flyweight title will be on the line, which fits exactly what Mai has been looking for.
“It’s definitely more motivation,” said Mai. “When I found out about it, I could barely contain myself. I’m pushing myself harder. It’s all about how bad I want that bout. I’ve never had a problem getting motivated, but having a belt is definitely giving more push for this one.
“This is why I do it. I want to be the main event every time. If I get that belt, it’s going to put me at the main event, and that’s what I want. I want to be in the spotlight. That’s what I do this for.”
When Mai (8-1) takes on Schnell (9-2) for the interim LFC 125-pound title in Lake Charles, La., on Friday, he feels he’ll be able to use their first fight as a blueprint to victory once again.
“Every fight could go different every time, but I definitely will take some of the positive things from that fight and correct some mistakes I made in that fight,” said Mai. “I know (Schnell has) been training a long, hard time preparing for Damacio, then Jason, so he’s been training his butt off, but I’ve put in work too.
“I didn’t go through the long, stressful side of having a title fight come up. I heard about and jumped all over it and I’m not really nervous for it at all. I already know I can beat this guy. I did it before. I felt I dominated the entire fight and feel like I can do that again.”
As Mai stated, March 25 is the kind of opportunity he’s wanted and he couldn’t be happier that it’s finally coming to fruition.
“We’re fighting for the belt, so everybody is going to be watching, and this is the stage I want to be on,” said Mai. “This is where I want to be fighting. I don’t want to be on the undercard. I want to be fighting for belts. This is what I want.”