Xavier Nash has seen it all inside the cage and he’ll look to use that to his advantage on Saturday night.
Although his record sits at .500 on paper, Nash’s four losses have been to former UFC fighter John Gunther, current UFC fighter Devonte Smith, high-ranked Canadian lightweight Scott Hudson and Bellator fighter Sean Felton.
Nash, 29, has shared the cage with a plethora of tough competition so far in his young career and he believes that could work to his advantage Friday night.
“I know I’ve been in there with tough guys and I know I can swim in deep waters,” said Nash in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m expecting the best from him (Macdonald), but I don’t know if he’ll be at their level. It also gives me that confidence that I’ve had some close fights and good moments in those fights, so I just try to see what I can learn from it and go from there.”
Nash’s last outing was back in Feb. 2020, a unanimous decision win over Kris Allard at BTC 9.
He said he felt a certain sense of awareness throughout that fight, which is something he’s looking to carry over into Saturday night and beyond.
“I just had a couple moments in that fight where I felt really present, really there in the moment,” said Nash.
“For the most part, I have my game plans and stuff, but when you get in there with the adrenaline, I just like pushing the pace. I never really take a moment to catch my breath and strategize, but I felt some moments like that. It could just be maturity from all my experience, but now that I’ve felt it I kind of know what I’m looking for to help us implement the game plan a little better.”
Although Nash has competed just three times in the past four years himself, Macdonald will be stepping in the cage for the first time since 2014.
But despite the long layoff for Macdonald, Nash said he’s unsure whether that will have a positive or negative impact on the performance.
“It’s all a mystery right now, it all depends. I don’t know how many of those years he was just sitting on the couch or focusing on work and family life, or how many of those years were actually hard training,” said Nash.
“It all depends on his preparation. It could go either way.”
Although the no-crowd atmosphere for MMA events appears to be ending in the near future, Saturday’s event will be held without fans in attendance, which will be Nash’s first experience in that environment.
Nash said he feels it will be interesting to experience it, but also doesn’t expect it to have an impact on his performance.
“It might be kind of cool. Crowds are great, they make the fights happen, but it will be interesting to see how it feels when all you can hear is the fighters, the corners and maybe the ring announcers,” said Nash.
“It might affect the adrenaline, but when it comes down to it I don’t need a crowd to push hard. I don’t need any external motivation for that.”
“I would like to thank Niagara Top Team with Chris Prickett and Matthew Dimarcantonio. Without them I wouldn’t have been able to get any of this training I’ve got in.” Follow Nash on social media: INSTAGRAM