It’s been a long time coming to return to the cage for Jake Macdonald.
Kelowna, B.C.’s Macdonald (3-1) will return to action after seven years away to take on Fonthill, Ont.’s Xavier Nash (4-4) in a co-main event lightweight bout at BTC 10 in Vancouver, B.C. on Saturday night.
Macdonald’s last time in the cage was way back in June 2014 where he suffered the only defeat of his career, a second round TKO loss to current UFC fighter Hakeem Dawodu.
Macdonald, 32, said although he hates to lose, that loss to Dawodu changed everything for him as far as mindset and outlook is concerned.
“I took that fight on short notice, one week’s notice. They had a game plan and I wasn’t in the shape I should’ve been in for that type of fight,” said Macdonald in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I felt like I learned everything. It basically turned my mindset from amateur to professional that fight.”
Despite the long layoff since the loss, Macdonald said he was never retired or was never second guessing his position in the sport.
He said the time off was strictly to prepare for and raise the child he had on the way, but he still continued to train throughout his entire layoff.
“I’ve been training the whole time, I never left the scene really. I just wasn’t competing for awhile there,” said Macdonald.
“I tried competing quite a few times the past couple years, and a bunch this year too, but it just wasn’t working out.”
With restrictions surrounding COVID-19 in Canada expected to begin to be lifted in the coming weeks and months, Saturday’s BTC 10 card could be one of the last no-crowd MMA events in the country.
Macdonald said having the crowd there for his fights is something he’s always thrived off and is an aspect he’s going to miss on fight night.
“I love the crowd; I love to feel like a gladiator. It’s like you’re going out and pleasing The Coliseum,” said Macdonald.
“Whether they’re booing or cheering, it’s going to take a big chunk away from the fight and competing all together.”
Throughout his career, Macdonald has been known to bring a fast, hard pace in every fight, further proven by his track record of never having been out of the second round.
Macdonald said with his excitement level to step back in the cage paired with all the work he’s put in over the past seven years, he expects to have a dominant showing over Nash on Saturday night.
“I’m crushing him. I don’t know how or when, but it just depends on what he takes and wants to put out.”
“I see me going in there and crushing the dude, so we’ll see how long he can last.”
“I’d just like to thank my coach, David Lea, everyone else at the gym, and my friends and family.” Follow Macdonald on social media: INSTAGRAM