THORBURN – Brady MacDonald is brimming with confidence, just the way a mixed martial arts fighter should be.
“In five years, you’ll see me in the UFC,” says the 19-year-old Thorburn resident, who collected his first MMA win (in his second attempt) at a fight in Portland, Me. last month, forcing his opponent to submit just 13 seconds into the bout.
“That should be everyone’s goal – if you’re in MMA, you should want to be in UFC.”
T.J. Grant, who runs the martial arts program at ProEdge Sports Conditioning in Bedford, N.S., one of three clubs MacDonald trains in, said his pupil has a strong work ethic.
“He’s a hard-working, talented young fighter – he makes quite a trek to come down to train every week. His devotion and work ethic shows.”
MacDonald also trains at the Titans Jiu Jitsu Academy in Pictou County, and twice a year he travels to Sacramento, California for several weeks of training at Team Alpha Male.
Grant won’t make predictions on whether MacDonald’s UFC aspirations might someday be realized, but MacDonald’s self-believe is a must-have.
“Confidence is good, that’s exactly what you need,” says Grant.
“You’re not going out there to make friends, you’re going out there to fight someone, and Brady believes in himself, one hundred per cent.”
EARLY AND OFTEN
It all started when he was very young, when he’d watch mixed martial arts and wrestling on TV. Enthralled with the action, wanting to be a part of it, “I knew what I wanted to be when I was in elementary school,” MacDonald says.
“I just fell in love with it, watching UFC pay-per-views, the spectacle, wishing I was there.”
His father Russell enrolled him in judo when he was four years old, a sport he studied for six years. At age 10, he took up boxing, and five after that he would win a bronze medal at the Canadian amateur championships.
“I had to learn to fight standing up, but I was still more focused on being a mixed martial artist,” he says now.
His first MMA bout was two years ago, when he lost by submission. “He just took me down and choked me, I was really inexperienced.”
Beaten but unbowed, he knew that he had to get better and didn’t fight until June 16 in Maine. “I wanted to make sure my game was the best it could be before I fought again.”
He will continue to train this summer, recover from his latest match, and will head to California in the fall for more training. “I’m looking to fight probably in November or December, either in Maine or California.”
If MacDonald isn’t willing to pay the price, do the work, train, watch his diet and work consistently at it, there are thousands of others who are.
But, that doesn’t seem to be a problem for him.
“He loves the sport and he’s 100 per cent dedicated to the lifestyle,” Grant says. “He does what it takes to be an MMA fighter.”