PEI’s Matt MacGrath: “I’ve Got Lots Of Support On This Little Island”

(Tue, April 25, 2017)– Top Canadian welterweight contender Matt “The Belt Collector” MacGrath defends his Fight Night title against TUF vet Stu Jasper on June 10 in Alberta. Before that, he sat down with FightBookMMA.

Your eight-fight winning streak was snapped with a decision loss to Ryan Quinn in October. But are you still Canada’s top welterweight?

I believe so, yes.

What’s been the secret to your success?

Putting in full camps. My team is a big part of my success. I have a lot of support systems on this little island, here. My wife is my number one fan. I have lots of local sponsors and support. Plus I’ve always had a really strong work ethic. I get that from my family, they encourage me to work hard. I make the success happen by working hard.

How disappointing was your last fight?

I was really disappointed. I didn’t sit and stare at the wall. I’m the kind of guy who gets right back on the horse. I took a solid week off of all training. I was really feeling like I won that fight and other than the first punch of the fight, he likes to throw overhand rights to setup his takedown. I expected him to fake the overhand right and he didn’t fake it, he kind of clocked me. It didn’t stagger me, but he hit me good. That was the only punch he landed in the whole fight. I definitely would have given him the first round, but the second round was decisively mine, and I landed between 25 and 30 unanswered, damaging blows. He did get the takedown with twenty seconds to go, but I really still feel like I won. I was disappointed but I get over it pretty quick.

Does that serve to motivate you?

I’m definitely hungrier coming off a loss. I go into every fight expecting to win because I put the time into my training camps. I even take it further than a six or eight week training camp, I come into camp ready to fight so that I can be at my peak. When my camp starts, I want to be working on strategy, not getting into shape. We’re about ten weeks out and I already feel good. I’m already flying high and feeling good – I did ten or twelve rounds of rolling last night. I don’t know need to start off with five rounds, I said, I did one round with one guy fighting, then three straight rounds with different guys each time. I got into trouble one round, I got my face cranked. But yeah, man, I’m hungry.

What can fans expect this next fight?

A lot of the same. They can expect a win, for sure. I haven’t had a lot of finishes over the years and I’ve been fighting a lot of high level opponents, but I am always trying to finish the fight. More so, now. I’m training smarter and I think it’ll be a great matchup. On paper it looks like a striker versus a grappler, but he’s an MMA fighter and so am I. It’ll be an action-packed, high-paced fight, and I expect to come out with a win.

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