Michael Hay Ready to Rise to the Occasion in Unified 35 Title Bout
Nov 8, 2018
Michael Hay is preparing for the biggest bout of his career. After establishing himself as Alberta’s best bantamweight with five first-round finishes in his first six outings as a pro, the dynamic Edmonton fighter takes on British Columbia’s Jamie Siraj for the vacant Unified MMA Bantamweight Championship at Unified 35 on Dec. 7 at River Cree Resort & Casino in Enoch, AB. Before that, he caught up with UnifiedMMA.ca
How were you introduced to MMA?
Like a lot of people my age, I kind of grew up with it being around, and it was always something that I was interested in.
Does it take a certain type of individual to step into the cage and compete?
Definitely. It’s not for everyone. Martial arts can help everyone differently; not everyone one has to be a savage MMA fighter. I happen to enjoy fighting a lot. I enjoy preparing for the fight, I enjoy being there for the night of the fight, I love getting in the cage. I like everything about it, the whole process.
Is this the biggest fight of your career?
Yes, of course — the next one is always the biggest one. I’ve had a couple big fights fizzle out, and this is a huge opportunity that I’ve been waiting for. It’s good for the promotion, it’s good for the division — and it’s going to be great for the fans.
Has this fight camp been any different because this is a title bout, or is it business as usual?
(Laughs) Business as usual, for sure. There are certain adjustments you make because it’s five rounds instead of three, but my goal is still to enter the cage in the best shape possible and perform to the best of my abilities.
What does your opponent, TriStar’s Jamie Siraj, bring to the table?
He brings a decent skill-set to the table. I think he’s going to be a pretty big test for me. He comes from a great camp, so he’s going to be well-prepared, which is exactly what I want. Jamie is a technical fighter as well, which is what I really want. This is going to be a technical fight that the fans are really going to enjoy.
What’s the most likely outcome for this fight?
I’m hunting for that submission, absolutely (laughs).
How’s it going to feel to have the belt wrapped around your waist?
It’s going to feel good. It’s a small step, but it’s a big step as well, you know? I’m excited to get the recognition of being the champion and have more eyes on me. I’m excited to get more big fights after that, and we’ll see what happens.