Jamie Macdonald will take on Ireland’s Aaron Darby in an amateur light heavyweight contest on February 29th at On Top 23. On Top 23 will take place at The On-X Leisure Centre in Linwood.
Jamie Macdonald (3-2), who fights out of ‘Primal MMA’, looks to start his 2020 calendar off with a bang, as he prepares to take on Ireland native Aaron Darby. Macdonald is no stranger to ‘On Top’, previously competing twice on the promotion. Picking up an 18-second win over Mark Malseed and dropping a close well fought unanimous decision to Dawid Dlugajczyk. It will be a year since Macdonald has last competed inside the octagon, however, Macdonald has still been busy and had his hands full. From testing himself in boxing competitions, to fully committing to training and more recently starting his own team. You can expect to see a focused and prepared Jamie Macdonald come Feb 29th.
Aaron Darby (0-0) who represents ‘Team Ryano’ in Dublin, Ireland, will be making the trip to Scotland to make his official amateur debut inside the cage. Darby was scheduled to make his MMA debut in March of 2018 v Derek Andrews, but due to unfortunate circumstances, the bout fell through. Fast-forward two years and the anticipated debut of Darby is here.
The experience heavily favours Macdonald in this match-up. Macdonald’s been putting in the hours in the gym, as well as visiting other gyms. Recently getting sessions in with well-known Scottish martial artists such as UFC light heavyweight Paul Craig and Bellator lightweight Chris Bungard. Darby has a tough test ahead of him vs the heavy-hitting Scotsman in his own country.
How are you feeling in the lead-up to your bout with Darby?
Macdonald – “I feel really good. I’m refreshed and really keen to learn this year. I’m 0-0 in my eyes.”
You’ve not competed inside the cage since February 2019, how much have you developed as a fighter in that year off?
Macdonald – “Yes, I had a year out of competition in the octagon. I’ve trained like an animal and have competed and immersed myself in boxing, along with visiting loads of gyms from boxing to MMA and gaining as much experience as possible. I am ready for the cage, more so now than before. Along the way, I’ve been lucky enough to have met some talented Scottish fighters.”
Not looking past Darby, how many times are you looking to compete this year if you come out of this bout with no injuries?
Macdonald – I want 5/6 fights and be as active as possible, with grappling competitions all going well. Also, helping the growth of our new team, which I’m hugely grateful for the guys involved, every one of them. I have 2 cage fights booked and an invitational grappling match booked within the next 12 weeks. So the first quarter of the year looks good.”
What drives and is the motivation behind getting you to the gym day in day out and putting the hours in?
Macdonald – “Look, everyone I know has issues none greater or worse than the next guy/woman. I’ve stopped drinking like I used to, that was one of the ways of dealing with stuff. I barely drink at all and when I’m in camp now I won’t bother. I’ve never been fitter and healthier than this ever before. I do this because I love it, I love the challenges and the grind, the fighting the life experiences and mainly because it’s like my version of college, academically I sucked. I see a good career in this for me, just got to stuck it out no rush.”
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