‘I’m just ready to get in there’

Three fight­ers to make am­a­teur de­but on Satur­day in New Brunswick

Cape Breton Post - - FRONT PAGE - BY T.J. COLELLO

Three fight­ers to make am­a­teur MMA de­buts on Satur­day.

Satur­day will be the in-ring de­but for An­drew Hussey, but he’s al­ready had quite the jour­ney in the sport of mixed mar­tial arts.

The 28-year-old cor­rec­tions of­fi­cer from Syd­ney spent a month in Thai­land last year train­ing in the muay thai dis­ci­pline. He’s also trav­elled to Brazil to do the same in jiu-jitsu, and has com­peted at com­pe­ti­tions in Brazil and the United States.

“(Thai­land) was pretty amaz­ing,” he said. “I lived right in the gym. I slept in a bed that my feet stuck out of the end. Ev­ery morn­ing, you’d wake up to some­one ring­ing a bell at about 7 a.m. and the next thing you know, you hear peo­ple hit­ting pads. You do that for four hours a day and be­tween that was just re­lax­ing time, en­joy the sun and eat some good Thai food.

“(Brazil) was the same idea. I got to train at Team Nova União, which was the team José Aldo trains with, so I got the op­por­tu­nity to watch those guys train. It was a pretty good ex­pe­ri­ence.”

Hussey be­gan train­ing five years ago in the garage of Kent Peters, head coach at Zom­bie-Proof Brazil­ian Jiu-Jitsu & Mixed Mar­tial Arts in Syd­ney, be­fore the gym was even a re­al­ity.

That long road will cul­mi­nate in a meet­ing with Paul Me­lan­son of New Brunswick in the War on the Shore fight card Satur­day in Bouc­touche, N.B. Hussey has another bout lined up in Septem­ber, but isn’t look­ing ahead.

“It’s been a long time com­ing for me. I’m just ready to get in there,” said Hussey, who trains 25 hours a week, what he calls an ob­ses­sion. “I had the in­ten­tion of fight­ing a year ago, but I had a set­back with an in­jury, but here I am now.

“I’m re­ally look­ing to put a few things on dis­play this time and show peo­ple what I have. I think I’m ready for what­ever is thrown at me. I just want to put some work in.”

Two other Zom­bie-Proof com­bat­ants will also step into the cage for the first time.

Matthew Janes, 25, orig­i­nally of Ap­ple­ton, N.L., and now liv­ing in Syd­ney, as well as 18-year-old Glace Bay na­tive Liam Smith, hope to the make the most of their am­a­teur de­buts. Janes will face Ron­ald Earle of New­found­land, while Smith bat­tles Brice Greene of New Brunswick.

For Janes, who had a back­ground in jiu-jitsu in New­found­land be­fore join­ing the lo­cal club, com­pet­ing in mixed mar­tial arts has been a goal of his for a while.

“The first fight, I’m try­ing to not look too far ahead,” he said. “I’m look­ing to get a fight done and get a win.”

Smith has been lean­ing on the ex­pe­ri­ence of both Hussey and MMA pro fighter Michael Spoen­lein. He’ll face an older, more ex­pe­ri­enced fighter in Greene.

“I’m con­fi­dent in what I am,” said Smith, who will have the sup­port of his par­ents at the bout. “He’s go­ing to have more ex­pe­ri­ence than me, but I’m OK with that.”

Peters said he en­joys watch­ing his fight­ers make the jump into the cage.

“See­ing three guys with such dif­fer­ent back­grounds and skill sets, see­ing them come to­gether, train­ing, help­ing each other and get­ting ready for this, it’s cool what mar­tial arts can do. It re­ally bridges a lot of gaps.”

T.J. COLELLO/CAPE BRE­TON POST

From left, Matthew Janes, 25, of Ap­ple­ton, N.L., now liv­ing in Syd­ney, Liam Smith, 18, of Glace Bay and An­drew Hussey, 28, of Syd­ney will make their am­a­teur mixed mar­tial arts de­but on Satur­day in New Brunswick.

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