Montreal – Heavyweight Lenard Terrance (1-0) was preparing for another fight when he got the call to compete in the main event for Ringside MMA’s Rising Star 1. He promptly pulled out of his prior engagement. “This fight was a better opportunity, a chance to get more exposure for myself,” the 34 year-old Akwesasne resident says.
That’s the idea, says Ringside MMA president Eric Champoux. “The goal of Rising Star is to promote fighters with one or two professional fights,” he says. “They fight…for a chance to compete at our bigger shows.” This Saturday’s card will feature seven fights, with 14 competitors looking to make a mark in the growing world of mix martial arts (MMA).
The card takes place at Club Soda, a locale usually used for concerts. Champoux calls it an ideal location for this type of event. “It’s a nice place,” he says. “You can create a unique ambiance. It’s intimate, and everyone is close to the action.”
Lenard Terrance’s opponent in the main event is Robert Masson (1-0). Since gaining a technical knockout over his first opponent last November, Masson has been preparing non-stop for his next fight. “I train six days a week,” the 31 year-old says.
Though his background is in boxing (he compiled a 3-2 professional record in the sport), he’s been diversifying since moving into MMA in August 2010. “I’ve been working on my ground game,” says the Terrebonne fighter. He now trains in jiu-jitsu, kick-boxing, judo, and base-level karate.
Like his opponent, he was excited to get the call to fight in a main event. “I think it’s a big deal.” he says. “It’s impressive for only my second fight – usually you have to wait a lot longer.”
He wouldn’t mind knocking out his opponent early in the fight (the victim of his first fight, Martin Trempe (0-1), is also competing on the card), but he’s also trying to make a point. “You always hope the fight is as short as possible, but at the same time you want it to last for three rounds so you can showcase your abilities,” says Masson.
He met his opponent for the first time at Friday’s weigh-in. “I don’t know my opponent very well, but I like the surprise factor,” he says.
Champoux hopes for a decisive finish in his main event. “People like heavyweights, they hit hard,” says the promoter. “The fights are often shorter, but you can see big knockouts.”
The card will also feature many fights at the more dynamic, smaller weight levels. Martin “The Stress” Désilets (11-2) will be cornering one his students, 18 year-old Tommy Côté (1-0), in a catch weight bout at 150 pounds. Côté is one of three fighters competing Saturday from Désilets’s Team Legion in his hometown of Victoriaville, Quebec.
While Désilets is the light-heavyweight champion of the The Fight Club (TFC) organization in Edmonton, Alberta, he also enjoys the chance to corner younger fighters. “It’s a moral sport, you’re like a second man coming in to help him,” he explains. “It’s important your corner man is someone you’ve trained with, who knows your style, and can tell you what to do.”
Côté’s opponent will be Danny St-Gelais (2-0). Though he has more professional experience than Côté, Désilets is confident his fighter can compete. “The winner will be the one with more heart, and more rage to win,” he says. “Tommy got a ton of that.”
Just one potential win, but every fighter has to start somewhere.
For full fight card details and photos, check my earlier post on the weigh-in http://wp.me/p1ibc2-c