For local Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) fighter Nick Campbell, the challenges of being a professional fighter in the Lakeland are very real.
Campbell, is originally from Saskatoon, but moved to Alberta at age 18 and came to Bonnyville in 2015 with his wife and two kids for work. This latest move from Calgary to Bonnyville made training a bit more difficult for Campbell.
“It’s definitely tougher just because of the coaching. There is people in the area that help out, Tim Chemelli and Mark Fiegar, Tim is in Cold Lake and Mark is in Bonnyville here. They’re both decorated fighters and have both been helping me out throughout my journey since I’ve been here,” said Campbell. “To train at that level I definitely have to put in the work and do the work more on my own. The training that I have had has allowed me to succeed where I am now.”
He is also working with other members of the community to improve on his jiu-jitsu, kickboxing and Muay Thai.
When Campbell was living in Calgary, he trained with Mike Miles. Miles trained Muay Thai and has produced some world champion fighters.
“To go from that kind of training to here in Bonnyville, where there is not as many people to help at that caliber, is a lot tougher to improve.”
Now, with a new training schedule, along with his daughters who play hockey and take part in figure skating, Campbell doesn’t get much free time.
“I’ll be at the C2 at six in the morning hitting the bag and doing conditioning and whatever I can there, then after work I am training either in Cold Lake or in Bonnyville at High Energy,” explained Campbell. “I just put in the time and I’ve got good team players around me that are showing up everyday.”
Campbell, who is also the Unified Light Heavyweight Champion, wants to get more people in the area involved with MMA.
He added the support he has received from the community in his short time here is something he has never seen before.
“In the community, the people that know me are very supportive. They’re interested. Everyone wants to know when the next fight is. Local companies like Flashpoint Electric, who I work for, sponsors me for fights,” said Campbell. “I have more support than I ever did in Calgary, it’s just the coaching.”
The goal for Campbell is to try to get more locals interested in being part of MMA in the Lakeland.
“I’d like to advance more people in this community in the sport, as well as myself. I am looking for as much help, sponsorship and coaches that can help everyone progress rather than just me going to the city and progressing.”