There is something special about meeting fighters that are not only personable, but articulate and totally smash the stereotypes of what kind of “person” steps into the cage. Sometimes these kinds of rarities also offer some of the best and most thrilling performances, because talent can come from anywhere–even in the least expectant places. I’ve had the experience of meeting one of these in Mike Malott, the newly signed featherweight who will be making his debut for World Series of Fighting on Saturday October 11.Here is a guy so unsuspecting of terror, that the only way to be absolutely sure of his incredible perfect professional record of 1st round finishes is by researching him and of course, watching his fights. His dream may have not happened early, but the fact that it blossomed at all is all at the luck of those who watch him. He shared with me some of his youthful motivations and how it shaped him into the persevering fighter he is today.
“I was tiny for my age, so I could no longer be as competitive with the top kids around. I stopped liking and competing in sports because I was not used to losing. That mixed with being bullied when I was a kid made me very frustrated and angry, and left me with no outlet for my energy and emotion…I recently made the tough decision to leave Halifax to pursue my dream of one day becoming both the UFC Lightweight and Featherweight Champion of the World. I left the best friendships I have ever had, and a gym and city that I called home. I did this to better myself, and I think that if you are willing to make real sacrifices like that good things will happen to you. I know that I will be successful in the long run in this sport with regard to my goals. One day at a time I will continue to learn, grow, and improve, and eventually make Canada proud on the international/global level. “
Originally born in Cleveland Ohio, Mike made his way to Canada for his teenage years and finally found himself locked into an education at one of the best Universities in Canada at Dalhousie in Halifax. He says that Halifax “feels like home more than anywhere else”, it is also home to a gym called Titan MMA where he trained in the midst of a juggle between two goals– mixed martial arts and his Bachelor Degree in Commerce. His sense of dedication would be unfair to question, as his pursuit for both goals have lead him to a big promotion and a degree. In the light of his next fight at WSOF who is splitting their pay per view earnings with fighters, Mike cannot see a better way to begin his upward trajectory.
“The World Series of Fighting has quickly become one of the biggest organizations in the sport. I am so excited to fight for this promotion, and to have this kind of a platform to demonstrate my abilities….I think [what WSOF is doing] will affect how fighters think with regard to signing fights. It has already affected me. If the World Series of Fighting can make money off of these pay per views and split those profits with fighters, it will be a huge incentive for me, and I am assuming others, to stay with the WSOF.”
And it will be at the regret of juggernauts UFC if they cannot claim the likes of Malott, seeing as how ‘promoter’ Dana White openly raves about finishing fights and exciting displays of action, Mike seems to fit the mold perfectly. In his last two fights his finishes had been outstanding–almost cringe worthy. Most notably his finish of Jon Williams in ECC 16 with a brutal knee which had sealed the fight in 15 seconds. But what is even more exciting to watch is his gaze across the cage to his opponent– the stare alone already proves that the fight may already be over before it has begun. And he is smart enough to know the value of this, as any smart prospect would.
“Fighting is very much a mental game. If you can start the fight off with having already won the mental portion of the fight then you have an enormous advantage when the bell rings.”
His understanding of the mental judgement in fighting is remarkable to hear, as people tend to disregard fighters mentally. Perhaps they may not be the intellects of the world, but their purpose does require an exceptional amount of mental pressure and reassurance. In loss, in victory, in training and in sacrifice a fighter must attain a different kind of thought process, like many athletes do selfishly, but besides protecting themselves externally, they must also nourish internally.
“There is an endless list of fears and anxieties that go through every fighters head. It is not about not having fears, but rather being able to genuinely battle and disregard those fears to the point where they no longer affect you or your fighting performance. My sports therapist/mental coach, Danny Patterson, has helped me out with this immensely. When I enter the cage I have nothing but positive thought running through my head. I think it is one of the things that makes me dangerous.”
Mike’s opponent, Hakeem Dawodu has half the record he has, but both of his professional bouts have ended in KO’s. His specialty, and what seems to be his only flavor in fighting , is his Muay Thai abilities. These are two fighters who are both coming off explosive wins in the same fashion can only translate to an incredible match up. But according to Malott, Dawodu will receive a unpleasant wake up call.
“[Dawodu] seems very explosive and dangerous, but to be honest I think the fight is a great match up for me. I think I am better than this guy in every aspect of fighting. If I choose to keep it standing I will knock him out – if I choose to take him down I will tap him out. He has done well against low-level competition, but in this fight he will quickly realize that this is not Muay Thai and that he has a lot of work to do before he can hang with guys at my level…Hakeem will be disappointed by the outcome of the fight, but I hope he realizes that it is not his fault – he is fighting someone on October 11th who is just on a different level than him.”
Whatever way the fight goes, it surely looks to be heading into the favor of “The Main Attraction”. His evidence in future victory stand clear in his finish rate and his statuses in Martial Arts. He sports a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and is a Kru status in Muay Thai. From past fights, it is easy to tell as his capability to overwhelm his opponent within a matter of seconds is not only entertaining but very dangerous for his opponents. In a flash, once the opportunity presents itself, like any fast paced featherweight he swarms his opponent into defeat. We hope to see even greater lengths in WSOF this Saturday.
“The way it will end: in my favour. It doesn’t matter to me how I win the fight, so long as it is done impressively. Whether it is by KO, submission, or decision it does not matter to me — I will do whatever it takes to win this fight and prove that my undefeated record is not a fluke. I am prepared for anything going into this fight…He is a good Muay Thai fighter, but I am a very good MMA fighter; he will learn the difference quickly.”
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