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Italian MMA is finally back this weekend at The Golden Cage 3. In the main event, Marco Saccaro takes on the tough Leonardo Damiani in the main event for the welterweight strap. Now Saccaro looks to nab his second straight win on the 6th.
I enter the cage always giving my best, without too many thoughts, fully focused at what is in front of me.Marco Saccaro
Saccaro became a martial artist at four years old when he took up Judo. He migrated over to other aspects of fighting all accumulating to professional MMA in 2015. Now a 6-2 mixed martial artist, all the years of hard work put in by Marco Saccaro has paid off.
“It was really a natural progression throughout my life in martial arts. I started training in judo when I was just 4-years-old, after many years I moved to kick boxing and finally to MMA where I made my debut as a professional in 2015.”
The fighters we watch on TV seem larger than life. They walk out and put everything on the line in front of thousands live. But, Saccaro says he is just a normal guy. He works a day job and trains afterwards. He’s also keen on fishing in his down time to unwind. Saccaro plans to get some of that in after the fight.
“I have no hobbies at the moment, besides working as a dock worker I dedicate the time I have left over to this sport and training. I would like to fish tomorrow, haha, so maybe after this weekend I will have some free time to do this.”
Going into the fight, Marco Saccaro is the underdog. Being the underdog can get to some but for Saccaro, it’s nothing new and it won’t affect how he fights. He’s compartmentalized the fight from the rest of the world.
“This is not the first time I have been given as misfortune, however, these things do not affect me. I enter the cage always giving my best, without too many thoughts, fully focused at what is in front of me. All that matters is what happens inside the cage.”
Marco Saccaro vs. Leonardo Damiani at The Golden Cage 3
Italy was hit especially hard in the COVID-19 pandemic. It was the narrative for a lot of stories in the news cycle, and rightfully so. 2.6 million caught the virus and over 90,000 Italians lost the battle with COVID-19 and the country was brought to it’s heels. But, the pandemic has not halted the training for Saccaro ahead of his title fight at The Golden Cage 3.
“I am lucky. Thankfully the pandemic has not changed my preparation, everything has been done and I’m grateful for the people I work with.”
It was just 2017 and 2018 when Marco Saccaro lost back to back fights. He managed to bounce back with a win over Ismael Foscarini in 2019, however. Saccaro says losing back to back fights was a tough time for him and his team.
“Losing two in a row was not good, is was a really bad period. But I was certainly happy to get back to winning ways. I am confident in myself and, as I said, I always give it my best. I found the right motivations to help me.”
Italian MMA is criminally overlooked. But with fighters like Marvin Vettori and Alessio Di Chirico representing their country in the UFC, the country’s talent is getting more attention. With The Golden Cage returning, Marco Saccaro is honored to be making history for his country on the biggest MMA platform in the world.
“I am very proud, as everyone should be. This is a big event on UFC Fight Pass, history making for Italian MMA and I am proud to be the main event and represent my country.”
When asked about his career goals, Saccaro says that’s not worried about what’s next. Instead, he looks at the task at hand and plans on executing Saturday. But that didn’t stop him from telling us some of his hopes for where The Golden Cage can take him.
“At the moment I only think about February 6, after we will see what is next. I do have it in my mind that I would like to experience fighting abroad. I hear rumours about The Golden Cage wanting to have events in different countries, so maybe this could be on the cards. But first I must give The Golden Cage 3 and Leonardo Damiani my full focus attention.”
Catch Marco Saccaro on The Golden Cage 3 live on UFC Fight Pass on February 6th as he fights for the welterweight belt.