Violet native brings MMA home Sept. 21 at Civic CenterSep 14th, 2012 | By Jessica Gonzalez | Category: Community
Professional Mixed Martial Arts fighter and Violet native Jonathan “Mack Attack” Mackles is literally a lethal weapon.
In his weight class, he is currently the number one fighter in the State of Louisiana and is ranked among the top 20 fighters in the world. His professional record is 12 – 2, and on Friday, Sept. 21, he will be competing in his home parish of St. Bernard for the very first time.
As the name of the sport suggests, MMA fighters must have a broad mix of skills to be successful, and Mackles certainly fits the card. He was once the Lousiana State Wrestling champ and has purple belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu—one level away from a black belt.
As far as his lethal weapon status goes, Mackles says he had to register himself as a lethal weapon with the state commissioner in order to
“They don’t want you going out and getting in fights with people,” he said with a smile.
There are many misconceptions about the sport,
Mackles explained, and there is no room for senseless violence— it takes discipline, natural talent and respect for your competitor.
“It’s not a violent sport, it’s a respectful one. I’ve never been in a fight with someone who I’ve had bad vibes with, you always shake hands at the beginning and at the end,” said Mackles.
“You don’t get very far in this sport if you don’t have respect for other athletes.”
A middle child, Mackles grew up in Violet with 19 brothers and sisters. And like most big families, sibling spats were commonplace.
“With so many brothers and sisters, we fought a lot growing up,” Mackles said lightly. “I used to get in fights when I was younger, and then started wrestling on a team, and then found my way to MMA.”
As a husband and father of four— with one on the way— Mackles says the sport is slowly
becoming a family affair.
“My oldest son is 13, and my kids know better than to try any of the moves themselves,” he said. “This is the first time they’re are going to come out and see a live match, and they’re
Mackles’ promoter, Poncho Gonzales, says that he possesses a natural talent and ability for the sport which has allowed him to move up into the ranks so quickly— he’s only been involved with MMA for a little over four years.
“You either have it or you don’t,” said Gonzales, “And he has it.”
Jonathan “Mack Attack” Mackles will be fighting at the Fred Sigur Civic Center in Chalmette, on September 21.
Doors are at 7 p.m. and the fight starts at 8 p.m.