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MacKay ready to go


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Jason MacKay, a Toney River native who trains out of Truros Marmac Athletics, takes on Steve (the Snake) Claveau at XMMA 6 House of Pain in Laval, Que., Saturday. Transcontinental Media

TRURO - Jason MacKay knows he'll get butterflies in his stomach when he steps into the cage Saturday night.
And he knows the best way to get rid of them.
All he has to do is remember who is standing in his corner.
MacKay is putting his 8-0 record on the line at XMMA 6 House of Pain in Laval, Que., when he takes on Steve (the Snake) Claveau (7-6-1) in a lightweight (155 pounds) bout. The company is owned by Canadian MMA fighter David Loiseau and the card will be broadcast on the FIGHT network at 10 p.m.
"He'll have excellent guys to train with but I just have to remind myself who I train with," MacKay said, who trains at Truro's Marmac Athletics.
The 36-year-old Toney River native's corner is one most fighters dream of. He's got Truro's 2007 World Association of Kickboxing Organizations (WAKO) World Championship bronze medalist Micky Marshall, Truro's 2008 Pan American and Rio de Janeiro State jiu-jitsu champion Jake MacKenzie, and a strong wrestling coach in Morgan Marchand.
"I'll still have ridiculous butterflies," said the polite and humble MacKay with a smile. "But I just have to remind myself who's coaching me and if I do what they've been drilling me to do it's going to take an awful mistake by me or a talented fighter to beat me.
"When you have the best mechanics your car will work great. I have the best coaches."
But coaching can only go so far. A fighter has to make the decision to use that information and push himself and that desire is something MacKay has never been short on.
"He looks the best we've seen him since he came here," Marshall said.
"He's ready that's for sure. I think, like Jason said, it's going to take a big mistake for him to lose. If it goes three rounds I think Steve is going to have a battle on his hands."
MacKay is coming off a six-week training camp. However, he missed most of the first three weeks battling pneumonia but doesn't feel like that will hurt him in the cage.
"Whether I win or lose there will be no excuses," he said. "The last couple of weeks have been full throttle so the fight is going to play out how it plays out."
Despite only getting quality workouts for half of the camp, MacKay said he feels good.
"I don't think I could have trained any harder considering I'm holding a full-time job," he said.
MacKay hasn't fought since March 15, when he beat Shaun Krysa at Extreme Cage Combat 7 - Bad Blood, in Halifax. MacKay then suffered a broken hand and took some time away from training to recuperate.
But MacKay doesn't feel the time off will hurt him this weekend.
"I'll be just as nervous as ever and that's helped so far. It keeps me from being overconfident," he said.

sports@trurodaily.com

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