Throughout the years, Canada has remained one of the principle hotbeds for MMA talent. It doesn't quite produce the same torrents of top prospects that Brazil and now Russia have found ways to provide, but quietly it puts forth a few strong young fighters a year to make their mark in the UFC, usually to decent success. Jason Saggo may be the latest in that line, as TopMMANews.com announced the signing of the unheralded lightweight on Tuesday.
Who is Jason Saggo?
The 28-year old from Ontario, Canada will make his way to the UFC with a 9-1 record. He trains out of Gracie Humaita in Bolton, also known as Wulfrun MMA, alongside former Bellator fighter Matt MacGrath. His record isn't spectacular, but wins over Stephen Beaumont and Derek Boyle provide some depth, and a split decision loss to current UFC lightweight Jesse Ronson is certainly nothing to be ashamed of. Otherwise, outside of MMA, Saggo didn't get involved with martial arts until his early 20's, but to help flesh out his minimal background, he's done a lot of travelling and training, having spent significant time in Brazil and Thailand. Saggo recently tried out for the TUF Nations cast, but didn't make the cut. That's not especially indicative of skill, plenty of good fighters can't get on reality TV, but it is likely what put him on the Zuffa radar.
What you should expect:
While Saggo shows some signs of a jab at range, he doesn't really appear to have any kind of punching game going on. He throws a nice variety of kicks from the outside to keep and guage distance, however, mixing well between front kicks, teeps, and leg and head kicks. When he's not able to create range effectively (and especially when moving backwards, as he can't kick) Saggo can be a bit hittable. He tends to hold his head high and his torso static and move in and out on straight lines. Once the fight is in the clinch, Saggo looks confident and fairly technical. He's nicely adept at changing up and chaining his takedowns, rather than just trying to drag his opponent down. On the ground is where he really shines however. Saggo has a very nice transition submission offense and is adept at using submissions, not only to end fights, but to create openings to advance his grappling and to create better submission opportunities.
Saggo does not yet have an opponent for his debut and no official announcement of his signing has been made. To get us better acquainted with him, here's his recent fight against Iraj Hadin: