Following a win in January of 2020, bantamweight Gabe Sagman had to wait nearly two years before being able to return to action due to the onset of the novel coronavirus pandemic.
When Sagman was able to return this past November at BTC 13 against Matt Dawson, he was able to pick up where he left off and earn a unanimous decision victory to make for two wins in his last three fights.
“2021 obviously with like Covid and everything going on in the world it was still maybe not the best time; especially in Canada it was hard to get fights,” Sagman told MMAWeekly.com. “I had a few offers here and there that fell through, but in terms of personal growth and everything from my skillset to my conditioning I feel I made good strides.
“Towards the end of the year I got another win under my belt at BTC, so that is always to get a win, and I’m looking to carry that momentum going forward into this next one.”
When it comes to his game, it’s Sagman’s physical conditioning he feels will be the biggest improvement that he will showcase in 2022.
“I think I’ve made some really good gains everywhere, like all-around skillset, I feel I’m a better striker, my wrestling has improved, and (I improved) especially on the strength and conditioning side of things,” said Sagman.
“I’m working with a combat sports specific strength and conditioning team, so I made some big athletic games in the weight room and on the strength and conditioning side. I feel I’m the best athlete I’ve ever been.”
This Friday in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Sagman (7-4) will look to add a title to his resume when he faces Noah Ali (10-5-1) in the 135-pound championship main event of Unified MMA 44.
“With this upcoming fight with Noah Ali; he’s a veteran, certainly he’s a worthy veteran, so I’m looking forward to the challenge,” Sagman said. “I feel there’s some similarities between us. We’re both aggressive fighters who like to come forward and swing. We’re crowd pleasers, so it makes for a great main event.
“When the cage door closes I’m going to be ready to put a hellacious beating on him for five rounds if needed, and I’m sure he’s going to try to do the same to me, so may the best man win.”
While taking the next step in his career in 2022 is a distinct possibility, Sagman is trying to keep his focus set on Friday night and earning a Unified MMA title first and foremost.
“I think it’s definitely best to take it one fight at a time,” said Sagman. “Once you start getting too far ahead of yourself you lose sight of what’s right in front of you. What’s in front of me is beating Noah and having that belt wrapped around my waist.
“This is certainly the biggest opportunity of my career, and I’m well aware that there’s going to be bigger fights head if I win this one, opportunities maybe with Dana White’s Contender Series, so opportunities like that I’m going to be ready for.”
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