If things continue to go well, Williams Lake kickboxer Kanyon Gleeson could be competing in mixed martial arts by as early as next fall.
Gleeson, 18, is coming off an impressive second-round stoppage over Terrace’s Hector Blackwater Jan. 26 in Dawson Creek in a 160-pound kickboxing matchup. The card, called the Ray House Memorial Fight Card, was sanctioned by MMABC.
Paul Rosborough, his trainer, said it was Gleeson’s first fight since an injury sidelined him in October.
“About eight seconds into a fight in October he sprained his knee,” Rosborough said. “So the fight was waived off and called a no contest. But this was a rematch with the same guy.”
After about a month-and-a-half recovery Gleeson began training again.
“It probably took the first round, half round, for him to get over what happened in the first fight, when he realized it’s not going to happen again and Kanyon turned it up,” he said. “The referee stopped it 30 seconds into the second round after [Blackwater] took two standing eight counts.
“The guy was eating clean shots and couldn’t defend himself, so it was a good stoppage.”
Gleeson scored the first standing eight count in the first round prior to the stoppage.
“He sat back a lot more in this fight and kind of realized he’s got nine minutes in there in a three-round fight,” he said.
“He’s realized he doesn’t need to be in such a hurry so he sat back and let the guy make mistakes and made him pay for them every time he did. This was definitely his most cerebral fight.”
Rosborough said it was Gleeson’s jab and strong movement which tilted the tides in his student’s favour.
With the win Gleeson improves to five wins, no losses and one no contest.
Rosborough and Gleeson, who both work in Tumbler Ridge but live in Williams Lake, have been juggling training between the two cities, and in Grand Prairie with mixed martial artist and former Ultimate Fighting Championship competitor Bill Mahood.
“I’ve taken him under my wing because he’s got so much potential,” Rosborough said. “We’re going to take him the MMA route and he’s been working on some of the ground stuff with Bill [Mahood] up there.
“Probably next fall would be a safe time when he’s really ready and has learned the fundamentals because MMA and kickboxing are really two completely different sports. Kanyon’s come leaps and bounds.”
Rosborough said he’s recently hooked up with Five Star Fight League, who hopes to have Gleeson on its upcoming cards.
“They’re a pretty big outfit and they want Kanyon on all their cards in this part of Canada,” he said.
“So, hopefully, we’ll get him on a card in March.”