PEI’s Jason Saggo Looks to Continue Hot Streak at UFC Halifax

Jason Saggo 2

(photo: Rob Trudeau)

When most people think of Prince Edward Island, they predominantly think about Anne of Green Gables and potatoes. If things keep going the way they do, you could soon see MMA on that list. The province has seen some top talent come out in the last couple of years with the biggest name being Jason Saggo.  After an impressive debut at UFC 174, Saggo will look to continue his hot streak against Paul Felder on Saturday, October 4 at UFC Fight Night 54 in Halifax.

Even though Saggo is originally hails from Guelph, Ontario, one man is responsible for setting up his roots on the east coast.

“The main reason I am here is because of my head coach Paul Abel at Wulfrun MMA when he decided to start a club out here,” says Saggo.

“I wanted to move to a club that had high quality training. He wanted to move out here with his family so I followed in his footsteps. My girlfriend and I bought a house and we fell in love with it out here. I had done previous training camps out here so I had a love for the island and for the people here who are so friendly. It was just a natural fit.”

His decision to make the move out to PEI has paid off. Since making his debut in 2010, he has been able to compete in some of the country’s top promotions where he has showcased his skills going 10-1 with wins over the like of Derek Boyle ahd Iraj Hadin. His own loss was against future UFC Jesse Ronson by a split decision, so that is nothing to feel bad about it.

Photo: Jeremy Penn

Saggo and his Wulfrun Team (Photo: Jeremy Penn)

With his impressive record and ground skills, which include eight submission victories, it was enough for the brass of the UFC to sign him to a contract earlier this year. Saggo made the most of his opportunity when he beat Josh Shockley with a TKO victory in the first round to open UFC 174 in Vancouver in June.  If he had UFC debut jitters, they certainly did not affect him as Saggo had few problems taking Shockley to the ground and ultimately submitting him. While Saggo made it look easy, looking on the fight now, he saw it as a good challenge.

“Josh really kept me on my toes and he was really well rounded,” says Saggo. “His Jiu Jitsu was really good and it was challenging for me to even pass his guard. I had to work a lot of different techniques in order to make the finish happen. It was a very challenging fight for me and it was by no means easy. I am anticipating this fight for me to be another challenge for me as well, just in a different area.”

While he may be looking forward to another test of his skills on Saturday, it will not be awalk in the park. While Felder will be making his debut in the UFC against a crowd that will have the support of Saggo, Felder walks in undefeated with eight wins with his excellent striking. While MMA training and skills have evolved over the years, on paper this looks like a classic match up of striker, with six of Felder’s wins coming by KO/TKO, versus grappler, with eight of Saggo’s wins coming by submission. If push comes to shove though, Saggo thinks he will be fine where ever the fight takes place.

“I do not feel the same pressure to take this fight to the ground,” says Saggo. “I just feel more well-rounded now than at any other point in my career. I have been working on my striking with some high level guys and my ground game has always been good. It’s just wherever I want the fight to be. It’s going to be mixing it up, going high, low, making him second guess everything. It’s just a true mixed martial arts fight.”

Jason Saggo Yoga

(photo by: Jaret Laquerre)

You can almost say Jason Saggo is the real life version of the most interesting man in the world from the Dos Eqius commercials.  While he may be fighter, traveling is an outlet for him and he loves to learn from other cultures.  After graduating from university in Philosophy and Psychology, Saggo went to Thailand to train in Muay Thai. After winning his first fight there, he traveled throughout the country visiting beaches, villages, and connecting with the locals.  He has been to various countries in Asia including Japan, where a man known as Mike the Monk turned him on to Vipassana Meditation. He has also been to Brazil and Peru to learn Jiu Jitsu and went down the Amazon River and hiked the Inca Trail.  He’s been to Hawaii and in India he was able to learn different forms of Yoga and get his certification to be an instructor which he now uses along with his certification in personal training to carve a second living of teaching boot camps mixing both styles.  With all this background you would not think it would be helpful when it is fight time, but that is not the case because it helps him stay in sync with his body.

“A big part to fighting is maintance,” says Saggo. “Yoga is a huge benefit towards this. I think people over train too much these days. Your body is a machine and if you keep putting it into high gear, you are going to wear down and break down. You have to make sure you are fueling your body with nutrition and proper care. You must find that balance between over training and under training when your body is at your prime.”

While he has gotten to do a bunch of cool things in his life, one he has yet to do is fight in his backyard but he will get his first chance to that this weekend. PEI fans are always loud and Saggo expects to hear some PEI chants when the fight begins. While having the crowd behind him is always a good help going into a fight, one of the people training with Saggo for this camp thinks his skills will be more than enough to win this fight.

“It was very helpful for me to train with him for this camp and vice versa,” says Mike Malott, who fights on October 11 in Edmonton. “Jason puts in a lot of great work and it shows. With Felder, I think he can stand with him but I think he will be able to take him to the ground no problem where he can have the success to win this fight. I have lots of faith that Jason will win the fight.”

Mike Malott will not be the only Maritimer cheering on Jason Saggo. With TJ Grant on the shelf, Saggo is lone the lone representative from the Atlantic provinces that will appear in the Octagon on October 4th. With a win over Paul Felder, Jason Saggo will not only make tens of thousands of local fans happy, he will show the world that Prince Edward Island has more than great potatoes, it has great fighters as well.

4 Responses to “ PEI’s Jason Saggo Looks to Continue Hot Streak at UFC Halifax ”

  1. Snyper Mcgrath says:

    Great article and nice to see Saggo getting some good training in PEI.

    Also nice to hear that 20 + fight vet and current multiple belt holder, Matt Macgrath, doesn’t have to drive 100’s of Km’s anymore to get top training.

    Congratulations to Wulfrun MMA!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 15 Thumb down 0

  2. Aggro says:

    Great story on a solid club and fighter!

    Well-loved! Thumb up 11 Thumb down 0

  3. Mark says:

    Guess Saggo was wrong when he thought he could stand up with The Irish Dragon. First of many victories to come for Paul. Felder still Undefeated.

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  4. joe lewis says:

    great performance by both guys , felder was bigger and stronger…but saggo was relentless…felder was ahead but definitely saved by the bell

    Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

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