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MacKay Snake-bitten in MMA defeat


MONTREAL - Jason?MacKay's mixed martial arts career suffered its first blemish last Saturday night.
The 32-year-old Pictou?County native lost on strikes against Steve (The Snake) Claveau at the Laval Colisee, lowering his overall mark to 8-1.
The fight was held at XMMA 6: House of Pain and was stopped at 2:22 of the third round. The victory improved Claveau's mark to 8-7-1. He was fighting in front of a partisan home crowd, and has now won seven of his last 10 contests.
Although Claveau's record wasn't sparkling before the match, his cornermen weren't too shabby. Georges St. Pierre, the current UFC welterweight champion, and UFC contender Patrick Cote were on hand to support the hometown fighter.
The bout was televised live on The Fight Network.
"I was star struck, by the crowd, the television cameras, the presence of the place and the guys in his corner," MacKay said. "On top of that, (Claveau's) presence caught me off guard. He was freakishly strong. He weighed in at 156 pounds, but by the night of the fight he was up around 170."
MacKay said Claveau was known as a submission artist, not a striker. He went the opposite direction in this particular matchup, working MacKay over with kicks and eventually finishing him off with strikes.
Losing was a different feeling for MacKay, and he had plenty going through his mind during the final flurry of fists.
He's got another fight scheduled for Nov. 29 in Halifax against UFC veteran Drew Fickett at the Dartmouth Sportsplex, a big opportunity that kept him mindful of last Saturday's outcome.
"He was on top of me and dazing me with punches, and a few things went through my head," MacKay said. "First, I thought 'my mother is watching this' and I didn't want her to see it go on like that for too long. Next, I felt dizzy, so I thought I might get knocked out. If that happened or the referee called it a TKO, I wouldn't have been able to fight Fickett. He was absolutely the better fighter on this night, so, I guess I live to fight another day."
The 13-hour drive home from?Montreal gave MacKay ample time to reflect on the setback. The verdict - he needs to get meaner, not only in the cage, but during training.
"I need to throw every punch with bad intentions. Before, I fought not to lose. Now, I need to show how badly I want to win."
Starting a new winning streak won't come easy against Fickett.
The 28-year-old native of Tuscon,?Ariz., is 4-3 in UFC competition and 35-8 overall. He also currently fights one weight class higher than MacKay.
"This is a good experience for me, win, lose or draw.
After that, MacKay will hope the Extreme Cage Combat brass will set up a title match between Claveau and himself some time in 2009.
"He's a great fighter, but I think I can do better than I did (on Saturday) against him. He's not unbeatable."

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