Malott to Take Years of Frustration Out on Williams
On May 27th, 2011 in Trenton, Nova Scotia, the crowd cheered as Mike Malott was able to pull off an upset victory over Michael Imperato. Since then he has not gotten the chance to hear those cheers. Two years later, he will finally get the chance to once again hear the crowd as he will face Jon Williams at ECC 16 in Halifax.
The two year wait has worn out Malott’s patience and he will be taking out his frustrations on Williams this on March 9th.
“You can ask a couple of training partners,” says Malott. “I don’t get mad often. I am a pretty calm guy, but I have lost my cool a couple of times… I am going to take it out on Jon Williams . When I was going to fight in December, I went through the most troubling time in my life and put everything I had into that, put my heart and soul into it and took my frustrations out on the camp. I was hoping to continue to do so on my opponent but the fight fell through. I haven‘t been able to (fight since December) so I am carrying it over..”
When Malott first came onto the scene in 2010, he was able to get two quick victories and generate a buzz. Since then, he has been sitting on the shelf. While most fighters would have been injured to force such a lengthy layoff, that has not been the case for him. Malott has had numerous fights booked only to have them called off; sometimes days before a fight like his match with Ryan Gallant at ECC 14 last year. It has been hard for him to see others improve their records and make their way up the rankings, including his teammate and best friend Gavin Tucker, while he sat idle. While Malott is happy for Tucker, he feels that he should be there among the best.
“Every card that I was supposed to be on in the Maritimes, I know I am supposed to be fighting,” says Malott. “I am there anyways cornering guys. I am there after a six to eight week training camp banged up and bruised close to making weight because I dieted and I am ready to go. For some reason though, I am the one sitting on the side. I am the one in the corner yelling from the side, giving instructions. As much as I love helping my friends, it sucks. Every single time I am there, I am supposed to be in the cage.”
During the time off, he has been able to find some time to stay active in the game with some muay thai bouts and jiu jistu tournaments but it has not been the same. Not having an MMA fight in almost two years, the question of ring rust is going to come up. Lucky for him, it has been over two years since Williams fought last as well. One advantage that could be in Malott’s favor was his recent training at Renzo Gracie’s gym in New York City. During the visit, he was able to receive his purple belt in jiu jitsu and increase his confidence that he could hang with some of the big boys in NYC.
“I think if there was any ring rust, I was able to knock it off there,” says Malott. “I had a lot of questions with myself with my jiu jitsu. Not that I am not confident because I am, but in New York it’s Renzo Gracie’s gym! The blue belts are going to be brown belts and the purple belts are going to be black belts and when I went down there, that was not the case at all. I did very well. I was able to submit all the blue belts and purple belts I rolled with and I was submitted by none of them. I was submitted by one brown belt and I submitted two brown belts and I went even with two other brown belts. I felt real good down there. It felt like a competition down there to prove that we are good up here in Canada and we are not just some bums on the east coast. We can fight.”
While Mike will be prepared for the fight, he will be coming in with a heavy heart. Back in November his sister Lauren was diagnosed with Guillain–Barré syndrome . It is a disorder affecting the peripheral nervous system. Ascending paralysis, weakness beginning in the feet and hands and migrating towards the trunk, are the most typical symptoms, and some subtypes cause change in sensation or pain as well as dysfunction of the autonomic nervous system. . While the disease usually effects people in the middle part of their lives, she suffered terribly from it and could only communicate in blinks when Malott first went home to Ontario to visit. When going through this, he was able to use fighting as a coping mechanism.
“I heard about it on my birthday, November 7th, which was on a Wednesday and when I got home on the Saturday, she was completely paralyzed. She could not blink her eyes, she could only open and close them and that was yes and no. From November until now, she has been recovering. Two months she has been in physiotherapy, , she is doing really well now. She did lose a lot of muscle mass not being able to move and all…but she is running again. When I came home for Christmas, I did not even know she could walk. She walked over to me and gave me a big hug and I started crying right away. If my sister can fight through that, I am not going to lose.”
After hearing something like this, you know he will be fighting with every inch of emotion in his body to try and win and you got to wonder how Williams will react in the match. According to Malott’s coach, Williams made a big mistake.
“I have nothing but the deepest sympathy to whomever fights Mike Malott,” says Coach Peter Martell. “Mike is a killer. I honestly feel bad. I know anything can happen in a fight. Saying this as a coach, anybody can beat anybody on any given day or time, but I think it is a tall order for anyone in the country to beat Mike Malott right now”