Addicted to improvement, Jackie MacLean ready to go to work at Pallas Athena WFC 1

Jackie MacLean
Jackie MacLean after her win at BFL 67. (Photo by Joel Griffith/MMA Empire)

If it’s true that styles make fights, we’ve got another good one.

Edmonton, Alta.’s Jackie MacLean (1-0) is set to face Blairmore, Alta.’s Melissa Croden (2-1) on the main card of Pallas Athena WFC debut show at the Grey Eagle Events Centre in Calgary, Alta. this Saturday.

MacLean made her professional debut last time out and did so in impressive fashion with a first round submission over Maria Demers at BFL 67.

It was redemption for MacLean after losing by decision to Demers in her final amateur fight back in 2019. MacLean showed tremendous improvements, especially in the wrestling department, effortlessly taking the fight to the mat. 

“That felt really good, it was a long time coming. I thought I was ready for that amateur fight our first time, but I wasn’t prepared for the intensity. I definitely stepped it up in my training and it showed,” MacLean said in an interview with MMA Empire.

“I feel like even since my last fight my wrestling has improved so much, doors have opened up and I’m seeing the timing way better. It’s a lot more natural now I don’t have to force it. I just continue to grow as a fighter and that’s what’s addicting.”

MacLean and Croden were initially set to fight back in Oct. 2021, but that fight fell through after the event was cancelled. If there is a silver lining, however, it allowed MacLean more time to sharpen her weapons at one of Western Canada’s premier MMA gyms. 

“I feel like I’ve been in training camp for awhile because my last two fights fell through,” MacLean said.

“I train out of the Little Sweatshop and there’s a lot of guys there my size, so that’s awesome. I have a couple of girls too, but mostly guys and they’re a bunch of killers. I’ve also been doing a lot of work at Frank Lee’s Muay Thai for this fight. I have a couple training partners there to work on my striking. I’ve spent a lot of time and it’s definitely paid off.”

Great attitude, a hard-working mentality and having the discipline to identify her weaknesses is part of what has made MacLean successful so far in her fighting career.

With a smaller frame at bantamweight, MacLean has developed a style that is conducive to an exciting fight.

“My grandfather was a boxer, so I’ve always had the dream of wanting to knock people out with my hands,” MacLean said.

“But at the end of the day I’m a shorter person and I fight at 135. Almost every opponent I have is taller and longer than me, so the game plan has always kind of been about covering the distance, moving and getting inside.”

As always, MacLean is expecting a tough fight and she’ll be taking on a competitor she has a lot of respect for.

These are the kind of opportunities MacLean said she is looking for in her young career.

“I think she’s going to be a tough opponent for sure. I actually used to follow her on Instagram, like before I even knew what I was capable of,” MacLean said.

“We’re both always down to scrap, so it should be great for the fans. I know I can’t sit back in this one; I don’t want to be a sitting target. I’m going to keep my hands up and keep them moving. She wants to have distance between us at all times and I want less of that. I have to be constantly working and that’s what I love.”

MacLean’s shoutouts

“Entire team at Shaved Bears MMA and everyone at Frank Lee’s.” Follow MacLean on social media: INSTAGRAM