Jack Mason “My goal is to get a title shot by the end of this year”

Jack “The Stone” Mason is set for his 40th outing in the cage and it has been confirmed that the big 40 will take place in the beautiful city of Amman as Cage Warriors return to Jordan. Mason will be going head to head with tough veteran Patrick Vallee at a catchweight of 176lbs. Mason is looking to rebound to winning ways following a tough decision loss to Ben Alloway last month which could have set up the Colchester based fighter with a title shot. A big win in Jordan over a tough opponent like Vallee will surely help to boost Mason’s stake for a future title shot but it is more than likely that the winner of the Danny Roberts/Jimmy Wallhead bout will get the edge first. MMAnarchy caught up with Mason just over a week away from the fight to discuss taking fights at late notice, fighting abroad and what the future holds for The Stone.

TQ – You are set to take on Patrick Vallee (10-5-1-2nc) at Cage Warriors Fight Night 11 which goes down on 18th April. Given we are so close to the fight can you talk us through your thoughts going into a fight and your training schedule. When do things ease up training wise?

JM – I’m just training same as usual really, I might be a little heavier when I don’t have a fight booked but I’m always training and always in shape because as an MMA athlete you have to be ready to take any opportunity that comes along! I’m never really any longer than 3 weeks away from being fight fit. We fly out to Jordan next Tuesday so Monday will be my last light training day really.

TQ – Vallee is a relatively experienced guy but his record shows that he struggles against the better known/big named fighters. How confident are you going into this one and given that you are looking to bounce back to winning ways does this fight carry extra pressure mentally for you

JM – If I’m completely honest people could say the same thing about me and my record! I have fought everyone that I’ve been offered and have only really faltered when I’ve fought the top guys , and I’m going to overcome that challenge over the next year. That’s probably something Patrick and I have in common. I have a ton of respect for him as he is very similar to me in that he’s been willing to put it on the line and fight some of the best guys in the world i.e. Brandon Thatch and Paul Daley.

I’ve actually done some training with Patrick before when he came over to Tsunami Gym for a week to help Luke Barnatt out with a camp and the guy is genuinely legit skill wise and very well rounded. He’s a tough ask for any fighter on the feet and on the ground.

This is a strange scenario for me in fighting a friend/ training partner and weirdly I’m actually looking forward to it! This will be my 40th professional MMA fight and I’m looking forward to getting out to Jordan and putting on a display of all my skills and taking that win.

TQ – Does the fact that Vallee looks identical to TV serial killer Dexter scare you somewhat?

JM – Haha, no I’ve never watched the show, I never really get time to watch TV anyway what with work and training!

TQ – The fight was announced on fairly late notice but knowing you, you had been in the gym since the day after your last bout and were ready to fight anyway?

JM – I was itching to get another fight in after my bout with Alloway as I was kicking myself for not doing enough in that fight to take the win so I was back in the gym the next day making sure I was training and ready to take the next available opportunity.

Also Luke, Sean and Arnold have all been training at BKK for fights (as well as the rest of the guys) so I have to make sure that I’m fit otherwise I won’t be able to keep up with them in sparring!

TQ – Does it make things easier for you having a training partner (Arnold Allen) fighting on the same card?

JM – All the guys at BKK Fighters are always training hard, none of them ever miss training even straight after a fight. There have been tons of guys training for fights on various shows such as Jason Cooledge, Sean Carter, Luke Barnatt, Arnold etc so training has been really good for this fight.  I’ve never met such an inspirational and hard working group of individuals. I think it’s because the atmosphere, banter and team spirit at the gym is so good no one ever wants to miss a training session.

As for Arnold, he will be the UFC Featherweight Champion in 5 years I have absolutely no doubt.

TQ – You hit the Welterweight mark at Cage Warriors 65 without issue, it now seems that you have the cut down to Welterweight to a science. Just over a week away from the fight what are you weighing right now?

JM – This fight is at a catch weight of 176lbs because of the short notice, I’m a big guy and I do need a fair bit of notice to get down to 170lbs comfortably. I’m thinking of campaigning for a 176lbs weight class as this would be absolutely perfect for me! J

TQ – This will be your third appearance on a Cage Warriors Fight Night show which means once again you get to fly to a glamorous location and lap up the sun before and after your fight. Being the third time of going through the whole process of travelling/cutting weight/getting used to the climate, do you feel that this will play to your advantage come fight night?

JM – People think that but it really isn’t the case! I spend 80% of my time in the bath in my hotel room cutting weight, you weigh in, recover and then fight so there really isn’t much time to sunbathe or take in the sights! This trip will be all business for me.

That said I’m really looking forward to getting back out to Jordan as the fans out there are literally incredible. I’ve never experienced a crowd as intense as that out there and it’s really an experience every fighter should try to experience as there is nothing like it!

TQ – Now you made no secrecy of the fact that you thought you had done enough last time out against Benny Alloway to get the win. And a win over Alloway would have certainly have put you into the mix for a title shot. Do you feel that you need to beat Vallee decisively to get yourself back into the hunt?

JM – At the time the decision got read out I really felt that I’d been hard done by as during the fight it felt like I was clearly winning every round, however when I had a chance to watch it back my view did change somewhat. I think there is still an argument that I won that fight but after watching it numerous times I can see why the judges gave it the other way too and I definitely didn’t win it as clearly as I had originally thought. It was such a close fight that I can’t really be too annoyed about the result so I’ve just accepted it, reviewed what I did wrong, put it behind me and worked on making sure I don’t make the same mistakes again.

My goal is to get a Welterweight title shot by the end of this year and I have a lot of work to do in order to get that shot as there are definitely people ahead of me in that race right now.

TQ – Cage Warriors have been quick in crowning their new Welterweight Champion following the release of former champion Cathal Pendred. Was there any disappointment from your side that they didn’t go for a tournament style to crown the new champion?

JM – Absolutely no disappointment that there wasn’t a tournament to crown a new champion as I’m not really a big fan of tournament style routes to becoming a champion as there is show much that could go wrong.

I was very disappointed that Dalby was given the opportunity to fight for the WW belt having never fought for the promotion, and I was also disappointed that Churilov got a chance to fight for the belt after only one win on Cage Warriors. I thought that I deserved a shot before both of those guys and that Danny Roberts and Matt Inman deserved a shot before them too.

That said it was a cracking fight and Dalby looks like a very worthy champion and will definitely be one to beat. Being atop the Cage Warriors WW division is a tough place to be as there are many hungry and talented fighters on the roster itching to get a shot at the champ.

TQ – There is a Cage Warriors London card scheduled for the 7th of June. Will you be gunning to get on that card if things go your way on the 18th April? Anyone in particular you would like to face on that card?

JM – No I’m on a stag do two weeks before that so can’t see me being in a fit state to fight then and we are hoping to have a ton of BKK Fighters on that card so I will want to be in the corner for all those guys! I’m hoping to next fight in July if I can.

TQ – Finally as always anyone you would like to thank or mention?

JM – Thanks very much for the interview and thanks to my management, coaches, team mates, family and friends and to everyone for all the support for this fight and my career so far!

I’d also like to say a huge thank you to my sponsors, please check out their websites and follow them on Twitter:

Be sure to follow Jack on twitter @JackStoneMason

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