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Hailing from Colorado, Michael Stack, a 4-1 featherweight prospect, comes into LFA 97 with the most momentum he’s had in his professional career to date. His last fight may have been a loss to Kai Kamaka III, but the way the fight went, Stack is ready to get to work and do what he does best. He takes on Jordan Mapa on the main card that airs on UFC Fight Pass.
Check out the full podcast episode with Michael Stack, Arthur Estrazulas, Ash Warren, and Tyson Nam. Out on Spotify and everywhere podcasts are sold.
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Starting out in fighting was a long time dream of Michael Stack. He found the sport early and with the help of family, he made his way to the sport. Stack took a wrestling-first approach in high school. But wrestling, or even the Olympics, were never the goal. It’s always been mixed martial arts.
“My dad was a foster. When I was growing up, he kind of raised me in that kind of fight mentality, that type of direction in sports. When MMA started getting popular, I started paying attention to it and watching a lot of the fights and grew an attachment to it. In high school I started doing wrestling with the intention to get into fighting after I graduated. It kind of went from there. When I graduated high school, I went up to the four cones started studying at Colorado State University and got into a gym. I trained for a couple years and then had my first fight.”
High school wrestling provided Stack with that foundation that is so important in MMA. Gyms were expensive and he and his family did what they could to get Stack started on the right path. Now, Stack trains in the best places in the world. It was the dedication to improving that saw Michael Stack move up in his career.
“I really couldn’t afford paying $150 a month to go train at an MMA gym. But I knew wrestling was a good foundation so I started there. I learned some boxing tips from my pops. I’ve been working since a young age with this goal in mind. I know that I can always improve. There’s no ceiling to what you can learn in this sport. Honestly, it’s exciting and it’s fun. If you want to fight, you definitely need to not focus on just one thing, you want to be good at every part of the game.”
Outside of fighting, Michael Stack is a person. Fighting is important to him, but he also has interests like business and travel. He’s spent time doing what he loves and what he loves to do: traveling and fighting.
“I like business. I do a lot of stock trading. I like to follow the markets. I like to travel. If I have an opportunity to travel between fights and take my family with me, I love doing that. I’ve been to Thailand and trained out there at Tiger Muay Thai. I’ve been to Singapore and watched some UFC fights over there. When Petr Yan was just about to have his first fight, I was in Thailand and training with those guys. I got to see him come up. I started out there when those guys were on the come up. I go out there and train with them and come back and they’re starting to make waves in the UFC. I’ve been to Wisconsin, and I’ve trained all over the place.”
Michael Stack at Tiger Muay Thai
Tiger Muay Thai is legendary. With names like Valentina Shevchenko, Petr Yan, Rafael Fiziev and more, the gym is producing some of the best MMA talent in the world. Michael Stack’s two months in Thailand and at Tiger Muay Thai has changed how he views fighting and brought his game to a new level.
“Tiger is one of those places where you get fighters coming in and out all the time. Thailand is kind of a travel based destination too. A lot of fighters are going there to train but at the same time they want to have a little vacation and have some down time and relax. A lot of people don’t stay there forever. I was only there for two months. I was thinking about staying longer but it ended up only being two months. What happens is when those guys do decide to stay, they only stay and train with and stick with the partners living there and staying. I have trained with Rafael Fiziev, but I wasn’ t able to train with Yan because he was pretty selective with training with the people who he wanted to train with. As far as what they have got going on for MMA, they have a great selection of knowledge and coaching. The training partners out there, no one really knows each other and guys are cycling in and out. Sometimes you can get some pretty good training partners and you guys are fighting. For me it was a great experience. I’d love to go back.”
Going into LFA 97, Stack is summoning on the experienced learned from the banger with Kamaka. While he didn’t get the result he wanted, Michael Stack believes that that fight taught him a valuable lesson and now, he’s worked on making the areas he suffered from in that fight better. At LFA 97, he goes out to prove he’s worked on just that.
“The last fight was a bummer that I lost. It really didn’t set me back too much. We got nominated for fight of the year. There’s like five fights and mine was one of them. There’s a chance he and I still get fight of the year. I got a lot of attention after that fight. In my opinion, that fight was razor close. That takedown that he got in the third round solidified it for him. I wobbled him with a left hook so, I almost put him out in the second. There were some things I can do differently in this next fight. I’m still going to bring that same intensity and that same fight, that’s just my style. That’s going to happen, but I’ve worked on my takedown defense, I’ve worked on getting up from the bottom, I’ve worked on my striking even. I think I’m a much better fighter than I was back in July. Fans are going to be excited to see this one and people are going to enjoy the fight.”
Michael Stack goes to war on the main card of LFA 97 against Jordan Mapa on January 15th live on UFC Fight Pass. Be sure to follow Michael Stack on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook to follow his fight journey this week and beyond.