After five years of training and an undefeated pro-record of 4-0, local martial artist Austin Ryan looks to capture his first title fight in a match up against London, Ontario-based fighter Malcolm ‘X’ Gordon (5-2) this Friday night at Westerner Park.
Ryan’s mixed martial arts career began in 2010 after he began training in jiu jitsu and Muay Thai at Arashi-Do Martial Arts studio in Red Deer.
“I started doing tournaments and began taking MMA classes and just ran with it from there,” explained Ryan, who added his skill level is higher now than it’s ever been before. “I really think I’ve stepped my game up immensely since my last fight – this is the best I’ve ever been, the best I’ve ever looked and everything about it feels good.”
Red Deer had their last taste of Ryan in September at Havoc 6 where he faced off against Bojan Kladnjakovic (2-3).
With only 15 seconds left in the second round, Ryan was working towards a submission when he heard local MMA artist Tyler Davis shout from his corner to let go of his submission and go for an elbow.
“I landed five strong elbows in a row then the ref stepped in to stop it,” said Ryan. “It’s important to know the voices in your corner and to trust those people whole heartedly because when you’re in the octagon there are a lot of people screaming at you and it can be hard to only hear the voices you need to.”
Since his last big win, Ryan has added additional training and recovery regiments to his routine, including strength and endurance training with Will Quijada out of Absolute Fitness which he hopes will allow him to further his push into the later rounds should his next match go past the second round.
“Will has really helped me with my striking and setting up traps so I’m excited to see how those aspects play out against Gordon,” adding he has also worked on his movement and footwork since Havoc 6. “I know he’s going to be a tough fight but I’m expecting to have a few edges up on him.”
Ryan stated he is excited to see where he stands against Gordon, who trains out of Adrenaline Training Centre alongside UFC vets.
Gordon recently suffered a defeat at the hands of Randy ‘Relentless’ Turner out of Ottawa last October during the Provincial Fighting Championships in Gordon’s hometown and will likely be eager to get another win and defend his Havoc Flyweight Championship belt.
“I want to continue to grow as a martial artist and as a person – it’s encouraging to see yourself grow as a fighter and continue to learn,” said Ryan.
The Ryan vs. Gordon match up is only half of Havoc 8’s main event sharing the title with heavy weights Grayson Wells (0-1) and local MMA artist Devon Neis (5-4) out of Black Dragon Martial Arts & Fitness who will also be squaring off.
Wells and Neis last met at Havoc 4 in January 2014 in what event organizers called the ‘bloodiest Havoc battle of all time’.
Other pro fights of the night will include local fighter Wolfgang Janssen (3-1) vs. Mark Maruzs (3-6), Zach Chalmers (1-1) vs. Dan Juricic (0-0), and Trent Rowell (1-3) vs. Ronnie Oar (0-0).