It’s not every day that you hear an amateur fighter talk about legacy.
But 23-year-old Lucas Mast (6-1) is definitely worried about his legacy as he heads into the amateur main event at Honor FC: Fight Night Nautica 2 this weekend to defend his welterweight title against Chris Fattig (4-1).
“I feel like any champion of any sports should put their champion status on the line to legitimize their reign,” Mast told BluegrassMMA. “Most fighters at this point aren’t thinking about legacy. I want to be known as a legit champion at every level. I’ve done nothing but seek out higher ranked opponents since I started. The only reason I’m fighting a lower ranked fighter this fight is because the #1 guy in the state declined my offer multiple times so I took the next guy they offered no questions.”
Mast currently holds the No. 3 amateur welterweight ranking in Ohio according to Tapology, but he aims to improve that position with a win on Saturday night. His last three fights have all been title contests – a decision over Braden Liggett to win the Honor FC title, a knockout over Liggett to win the Caged Thunder title, and a successful defense of his Honor FC title with a submission over Cameron McIntosh in May.
Now, as Mast heads into his eighth bout, he could have the option to turn pro under the new Ohio rules with a win. But still, he doesn’t seem in a huge rush to make the jump until he’s 100% ready.
“We’ve talked about going pro after this fight, but I hold titles for HFC and Caged thunder so I will possibly defend my Caged Thunder belt as well before going pro,” Mast said. “My standards for this fight in order to make that jump is to do what I’m capable of with my stand up. I know I’m very dangerous on the feet and have serious knock out power. I need to see myself trust my overall game and go in there and dominate the way I do in training.”
Mast has one TKO under his belt in his second win over Liggett earlier this year, but he’s really excelled on the ground, leading to three submission wins.
The submissions aren’t a surprise, as he trains at Renzoku MMA under black belt Brian Burkey and at Common Ground Grappling Club under another black belt in Jose Burgos.
“My training camp is 95% spent completely in house away from other gyms and cross-training,” Mast said. “My team is full of willing athletes to help me get better and stronger throughout my camps.”
Another things that Mast has already figured out is that he needs to develop himself outside of the cage as well as inside it. That’s why he’s partnered with Keg Group and Keith Green to create a program and foundation in his name with the aim to work with high school and college athletes on increasing the intelligence and intensity of their workout programs, as well as focusing on weight training, eating right, and functional movements to improve their abilities in their chosen sport.
Mast also is the owner of The Vintage Barber & Shop and a women’s hair salon, Hush Hair. He has continued to strive to find a balance between his business and his goals in fighting.
“Balancing business and training wasn’t that difficult at first,” Mast said. “But now that all I think about is training and fighting it’s getting harder and harder to make sure I’m taking care of what I need to take care of in my business responsibilities. I’m currently working on making the transition to be able to train pretty much full time. But at the moment I train in the morning, work all day, then train again in the evening. It gets exhausting, but I know what I want and I know I’m on the right path so I always seem to find the motivation.”
This will actually be Mast’s second appearance on a card at Jacobs Pavilion at Nautica, as his first win over Liggett took place last August at Honor FC 6. But for him, the bigger the show the better.
“I like headlining amateur cards but I would rather be fighting on a big card like this with pros headlining because you never know who is gonna be in attendance watching these high level pros,” Mast said. “Obviously I have to turn pro and win fights as a pro but if any scouts from larger organizations are in attendance I like that I have a shot to impress any of those scouts and who knows they might be watching for when I turn pro and maybe I can get a call up sooner then most. If nothing else I have a shot at a first impression with important people.”
While there may be some scouts for bigger organizations in the crowd on Saturday night, a group that is arguably even more important will undoubtedly show up for him: his fans.
“I’m definitely blessed with people who are willing to invest in me and support me,” Mast said. The fan base keeps growing every fight and I couldn’t be more thankful for everyone who comes out to watch me perform. I think at the end of the day interacting with people in a respectful way and taking time to talk to people goes a long way. Be a respectful person and compete to win no matter the obstacles and people will want to be a part of that.”
Although there may be a lot riding on this fight, Mast can’t lose focus of the fact that there will be a tough opponent standing across from him. Fattig has won three of his four fights via stoppage and will likely have a reach advantage at 6’2″ against the 5’10” Mast.
“I’m excited about this match up. On paper my opponent is the underdog. But to me I’m the underdog,” Mast said. I have everything to lose. He’s got nothing to lose from this fight. He’s gonna fight his best fight and I’m ready for that. I’ve trained like my life depends on this fight. I’m prepared for every bit of three of the hardest rounds I’ve fought yet. The biggest obstacles I have to overcome is honestly just not focusing on the belt or how fans think this fight should go. But honestly this is my fourth title fight and I am calm under the pressure that surrounds a fight like this.”
The post Lucas Mast: I want to be known as a legit champion at every level appeared first on BluegrassMMA.