With just over a week to go before RisingStar 2, two more changes have been made to the fight card.
Jeff Breau (1-0), winner in his debut at Rising Star 1, will now face off against Steve Bégin (0-0).
After suffering a concussion in a car accident, Breau’s original opponent, Chris ‘the Wrecking Ball’ Tinkler was forced out of their fight. According to Tinkler, he’ll need a month off to recover before returning.
The new match-up carries some history with it. Breau and Bégin twice fought as amateurs. Bégin came away with the victory both times, most recently a split decision last September at Fightquest 14.
Team Bergeron‘s Breau doesn’t mind the late change. “Because I’m familiar with him from our past encounters, I’m more motivated than ever,” says the 23 year-old. “My style can be adapted to any opponent. I’m fully in shape, my preparation for the fight, both stand-up and grappling, has been great.”
Keven Pellerin, one of five fighters from Team Legion on the card, also saw his original opponent John Roche pull out due to injury. Pellerin now faces off against Ontario’s Pierre Mellon, with both fighters making their professional debut.
Going into the fight, Pellerin says training is going well. He just turned 18, the minimum age for going pro, three weeks ago. In his last fight earlier this month, he lost via a 1st-round triangle choke, giving him a final amateur record of 14-6 heading into Rising Star 2.
Though at first upset about losing in his swan song as an amateur, he’s since reassessed. “Getting discouraged won’t help me going forward,” he says. “I prefer to focus 125 per cent on my next fight”
He’s dead-set on making a solid impression in his debut. “I want to put on a good show for the fans,” he says. “I want the promoter to see what I have in me. I’m training for three rounds, and I want it to go all the way. I’m definitely not coming to Montreal to lose.” Team Legion is based in Victoriaville, a two hour drive from Montreal.
During an earlier conversation in late January, Pellerin mentioned another welcome aspect of making his debut. “I’m anxious to get paid,” he said smiling. As in other amateur sports, amateur fighters don’t earn a salary for their fights.
After fighting at a catch-weight of 180 lbs. as recently as late January, he’s now slated to make his debut 25 pounds lower in the 155-lbs. lightweight division. “I’m a guy who likes eating fast food, so starting a diet that’s 70 per cent vegetables has been really hard,” he says. “The results have been good thus far, but I can’t wait for it to be behind me so I can fully focus on my fight after the weigh-in.”
Latest Rising Star 2 Card (weight divs. in bold, underlined names go to interviews)
155 – Yohan Gariépy (2-2) vs. Steve Simms (1-0) (Main Event)
135 – Michael Pellerin (1-2) vs. Stéphane Pelletier (3-1) (Co-Main Event)
155 – Samuel Charbonneau (1-0) vs. David Lafond (0-1)
Heavyweight – Steve Bégin (0-0) vs. Jeff Breau (1-0)
170 – Francis Charbonneau (0-0) vs. Chris Franck (0-1)
155 – Pierre Mellon (0-0) vs. Keven Pellerin (0-0)
135 – Gregory Carpenter (0-2) vs. Maxime Dubois (1-0)
145 – Tommy Côté (2-0) vs. Mustafa Khalil (2-1)