CORNER BROOK — Corner Brook mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter Jeff Brake is prepping for his next big bout.
But Brake said, he treats every fight like the most important one.
“The next fight is always the biggest fight of my life,” said the 27 year-old. “I expect it to be tough and nothing less.”
This weekend Brake travels to Moncton, N.B. to battle in the semi-finals of the Cage Rage series by the International Mixed Martial Arts Federation. It is the third of four events in the series, and is a full card, meaning 20 bouts.
Brake’s biggest competition will be the hometown boy, Gary Brown.
If Brake wins this weekend, he gets to move on to the finals. The thought of winning the championship title — being deemed the best MMA fighter in eastern Canada — is one of Brake’s biggest goals.
“A win could set me so far ahead, to me, to myself,” he said. “I would like to make everybody proud and continue by climbing up the ladder.”
Brake takes his fighting seriously, and has make it his full-time job, taking other work only when funds get low.
The main component he works on to keep at the top of his game is cardiovascular exercise, for an hour, three times a day.
“Cardio, cardio, cardio has been my best friend.”
As well, he hits the gym for strength training.
MMA is a mix of various sports, such as judo, wrestling, boxing and kickboxing. With a wrestling background, Brake came up on MMA about eight years ago while living in Alberta.
“It’s safer than football, hockey and boxing,” he said. “There’s very little injury.”
There are many rules to ensure safety in the eastern amateur MMA scene, he said, such as not allowing to strike someone with a knee or elbow.
The winner can take the bout in a number of ways, such as the competitor willingly tapping out physically or verbally.