‘I’m just ready to get in there’
Three fighters to make amateur debut on Saturday in New Brunswick
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.”
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.