This fight is simply one you can’t miss.
Calgary’s Jesse Arnett (15-6) will make the cross-country trip to Truro, NS to take on Fredericton’s Adam MacDougall (5-2, 1 NC) in bantamweight action at Fight League Atlantic’s inaugural event, FLA 1, on Saturday night.
Arnett, 35, enters Saturday night’s affair in unfamiliar territory having lost two fights in a row for the first time since 2012.
Although the defeats were hard to swallow at the time, Arnett said one thing he’s always been good at throughout his life is leaving the past in the past.
“What I’m really good at in my life, in sports or anything, is putting things behind me and focusing on the task at hand,” said Arnett in an interview with MMA Empire.
“All I can worry about is the process and the outcome will take care of itself. I know I’m very capable to win fights at the highest level.”
Other than his last fight at PFC 10 ending in a no-contest, MacDougall, 33, enters this contest having won four straight, all of which were first round finishes.
MacDougall said while his upward trend and Arnett’s downward trend of late could play a factor in the fight, it’s not something he’s relying on when facing as tough an opponent as Arnett.
“I don’t want to rely on it, but I do feel there’s definitely some momentum on my side,” said MacDougall in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I haven’t lost in awhile and he’s lost his last two after not having lost for so many years. But I’m sure he’s very strong-willed and a true martial artist, so he’s going to be able to turn his mindset around properly.”
After losing his bantamweight title to Nathan Maness, followed by a TKO defeat at the hands of Josh Hill in one of the biggest bantamweight fights in Canadian MMA history, Arnett said changes needed to be made.
In the time since the Hill loss, Arnett said he feels he’s made some big tweaks in his game, and feels like a more complete mixed martial artist.
“Over the last six months, I’ve reinvented by style somewhat. For the first time, I feel like I’m putting MMA together perfect. I’m mixing up my strikes and my takedowns perfect,” said Arnett.
“I’m right where I want to be, and I feel I’m a hard matchup for anybody in the world at 135 pounds in any country or any organization.”
Throughout his career, Arnett has been known as a finisher, with 13 of his 15 wins coming before the final bell (nine submissions, four knockouts).
And with how he feels he matches up with MacDougall, Arnett said he expects to add a fourteenth finish to the resume.
“I think it’s going to be a first or second round submission. He’s not going to think I have the power I have,” said Arnett.
“I can see me dropping him with a straight left shot, position over submission, getting some control, dropping some ground and pound, him trying to get up the wrong way, and me catching him in a variation of my neck chokes.”
MacDougall Knows What to Expect
MacDougall said he’s well aware of Arnett’s tendencies and strengths, having watched his last four fights live, and also having seen plenty of footage.
He said he’s expecting Arnett to bring a fast pace and expects him to try and utilize his wrestling at some point.
“I see him doing what he said he’s going to do, and what he has done for most of his career, and that’s come forward with great pressure,” said MacDougall.
“I’m sure, with his experience and all the guys he’s stood and traded with, he won’t be scared to stand with me. But I feel like I may shock or surprise him a little bit with my movement and speed, and he may quickly realize there is a bit of urgency to take me to the ground.”
While he has put together some notable wins during his four-fight win streak, most notably Eric Wilson and Morgan Rhynes, Arnett will be far and away MacDougall’s biggest test of his career.
MacDougall said while a win over Arnett won’t necessarily vault him straight to the top, it will let him know he’s on the right track.
“A win over someone like Jesse makes a name for me to some extent. It gives me exposure and lets me know I’m on the right track,” said MacDougall.
“I’m not going to say it does anything for sure for my career necessarily, but obviously a win over him is helpful in getting my goals to be at the highest level.”
“I’d like to thank Alavanca, everyone at Bowmont Boxing Club, everyone at Dunamis Muay Thai and Kickboxing, Riverside Law Office, and Robin Hahn at Build 360.” Follow Arnett on social media: FACEBOOK, TWITTER, INSTAGRAM
“I’d like to thank my coach Andy Young, my wrestling coach Clint Kingsbury, all the family and friends at Evolution Training Centre, my actual family and friends, my sponsors (Speedy Auto Glass, Sandy Fullarton, Mike Southwell), and my wife and daughter.” Follow MacDougall on social media: FACEBOOK