Jason Saggo picked up his first win in over two years on Saturday night.
The UFC veteran defeated Adam Assenza in the BTC 4 main event in Peterborough, Ontario, winning the promotion’s lightweight title. Saggo tapped Assenza out with a rear-naked choke late in the first round.
The fight marked Saggo’s first fight since getting released from the UFC last year; the Toronto native went 3-3 in the Octagon, but his tenure ended with two straight losses.
Now back in the winning column, Saggo wants to get back in the big leagues — but not quite where you would perhaps expect.
Instead of re-signing with the UFC, the Canadian lightweight wants to go overseas to ONE Championship.
“I think they’re one of the premier MMA organizations in the world,” Saggo told Bloody Elbow after BTC 4. “I think they’re great. I think they treat their fighters well. And they have top-quality fighters — they got Shinya Aoiki, they just signed Eddie Alvarez, (and) I think they have one of the best fighters in the world, Demetrious Johnson.”
As someone who signed with the UFC in 2014, Saggo said he knows what the UFC is about. For instance, he didn’t like the way the UFC treated its athletes. So he wants to try something new.
“When you’re there in the UFC, they pick you up in a nice Cadillac, whatever, put you in a nice hotel room — it’s all for show,” Saggo said. “When it comes down to the way they actually treat their fighters, you feel expendable, and I didn’t like that. I never liked that.”
Saggo said he’s glad that other organizations, including ONE, have recently been serving as competition to the UFC. Saggo added that he is interested in competing in ONE’s upcoming lightweight tournament and hopes to get back into the cage as soon as possible, considering he took little damage at BTC 4.
“With the UFC, you don’t know when you’re gonna fight, and they don’t tell you when you’re gonna fight, so you don’t know when you’re getting paid,” Saggo said. “How can you survive, how can you live when you don’t know when you’re gonna get paid?
“They keep you in the dark. And you sign an exclusive contract, so there’s nothing you can do.”