On the Rise Lightweight Jason Saggo: “One Hundred Percent, My Goal is to be in The UFC”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Rising lightweight Jason Saggo will close out his 2012 campaign having moved significantly closer to his dream of competing in the UFC, by extending his record to 8-1. Saggo scored submission wins over Eric Attard and Iraj Hadin while competing for the growing Score Fighting Series promotion this year, and as a result, more and more people throughout Canadian MMA are taking stock of the 27 year-old-fighter.
“One hundred percent, my goal is to be in the UFC,” the Wulfrun MMA fighter recently told Full Contact Fighter, after tapping out Hadin with a second round, rear-naked-choke on November 23rd. “That’s what I’m working towards, but I know it takes time and I’m prepared to invest that time to myself and my career. I’m in no rush, but at the same time, I want to be in the UFC hopefully by next year.”
“I think right now my record is looking pretty good,” the BJJ brown belt added. “I have eight wins and all of my wins are finishes…I just need to keep taking those steps, stepping up the opponents, stepping up the competition each time and hopefully the UFC will come around and recognize that.”
Saggo’s only loss to date came against another notable Canadian prospect in Jesse Ronson, who scored a split decision win over him at a Global Warrios Fighting Championship card last August. Ronson was also victorious at last month’s SFS event, and as a result of an impressive unanimous decision win over Ryan Healy, many believe the lightweight could be headed to the UFC soon.
“Jesse Ronson is an amazing fighter,” Saggo noted about Ronson, who trains alongside vets Mark Hominick, Sam Stout and Chris Horodecki . “I think he has the best stand-up in the division in Canada. He’s well rounded as well and he’s been destroying guys, so to have a loss to him, I don’t think it would hurt my reputation as much as if it came against somebodyelse, a lower level fighter.”
“It also exposed what I needed to work on,” the Bolton, Ontario resident added. “I’ve been working on that ever since that fight, making sure I set my takedowns up more with my striking.”
Saggo began competing professionally in 2009, and since then has competed for Canadian based organizations like Ringside MMA, Knockout Entertainment and the aforementioned SFS.
“I was introduced to martial arts when I was at the University of Guelph,” Saggo recalled. “I was studying philosophy and psychology and a friend of mine saw me messing around on the bag. He told me to come check out this Muay Thai, Karate hybrid kind of class and I went and checked it out and fell in love with it from there.”
“It expanded from there and after I went to Thailand for the first time, I knew I wanted to pursue MMA as a career full time…I knew I loved that lifestyle and that I wanted to do it professionally.”
Saggo continues to develop his skills by utilizing MMA related resources in the Bolton region, which includes Wulfrun MMA head instructor and Royler Gracie black belt Paul Abel.
“Wulfrun MMA is the main center; that’s where I work on my jiu jitsu and MMA,” said Saggo, who also works as an instructor and trainer. “I work on my Muay Thai at Lanna Muay Thai in North York and my wrestling at the University of Guelph. I also do a little bit of boxing out of Sully’s Boxing in Toronto.”
“As soon as I connected with Paul in Bolton I knew he was going to be my instructor pretty much for the rest of my life,” Saggo furthered, while discussing his evolution as a grappler and fighter. “Just the way he can explain the techniques and communicate, I just knew I could go far with jiu jitsu being under him and being his student.”