It’s been a good year for MMA in Alberta and things are about to get even better.
Rumble in the Cage is back with Rumble in the Cage 63 this Saturday night in Lethbridge, Alta. The card is loaded with Canadian talent, with a mix of prospects and veterans.
One of the biggest fights of the night is a women’s bantamweight contest set to feature a fast-rising prospect in Edmonton, Alta.’s Jackie MacLean (3-1) and a local talent making her professional debut in Lethbridge’s Shannon Clark (0-0).
In true gladiator fashion, MacLean is looking forward to the potentially hostile crowd on Saturday night and she said heading across the province into enemy territory is exciting to her.
“I love it. I prefer to go into someone’s hometown and get the finish,” MacLean said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“It feels so good, nothing is more satisfying. I’d love to get a win in front of my family, of course, but when you’re beating someone up and the people who love them are right there, it’s the best.”
Going undefeated as an amateur, the former university soccer player, Clark, used her cardio and an aggressive striking style to gain an edge. MacLean will look to minimize any physical advantages while leaning on her versatility and experience on fight night.
“She’s a great athlete, for sure. When you’re taking heavy shots down the pipe though, let’s see how you’re breathing then,” MacLean said.
“It’s a whole different story when you’re getting hit. I’m not just coming for the head, I’m looking for the body also. She’s an athlete and I know she’s not going out unless I really put her out. It’s a good test for me. She has a good team and we both put on good fights, so it’ll be exciting.”
There’s definitely mutual respect between the two combatants heading into the weekend, but coming off back-to-back impressive TKO victories, MacLean is expecting to keep the momentum going and make it a hat trick.
“I think she’s going to be game, I think she’s down to fight, I know she’ll be in good shape. She’s going to be tough,” MacLean explained.
“My goal is to land more significant strikes, pick my shots and make them count. This is probably the most excited I’ve been to get into the cage. I have a lot of confidence from my last two fights. After those two wins, there’s more talk and it gives me motivation to keep having big performances.”
In an interview with MMA Empire, Clark was quick to point out the wrestling prowess and effective ground and pound when it came to Maclean’s skill set. In agreement, MacLean also drew attention to her affection for the stand-up game.
“When I’m in there all I’m thinking about is the kill. That’s it. Naturally, you’re going to go to what you’re best at,” MacLean explained.
“For me, I love being on top, having full control of someone and then hitting them instead of that 50-50 battle of striking. Of course, I’d love to knock people out on the feet, but it’s easier said than done. The most work I’ve put into anything is definitely my striking, so I know it’s going to come eventually.”
MacLean is now looking to speed up the hype train en route to her third win in a row. With a classic kill-or-be-killed mentality, a war is the typical result every time MacLean steps into the cage.
“All my fights end with finishes, whether it’s me or them,” MacLean said.
“I want to keep that going. Obviously, I don’t want to be the one finished, but I’m always going for the kill. There’s obviously going to be times when it goes to the decision, but I have it in me to entertain the crowd and keep the judges from getting involved.”
“The entire Shaved Bears team, all my coaches and my family.” Follow MacLean on social media: INSTAGRAM