Chad “The Stun Gun” Sutherland was full of emotion, letting out an emphatic roar along the ropes after coming out on top in his first-ever professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fight.
The 23-year-old Duck Lake product competed in the Modern Fighting Championship 2 at the Legends Centre in Warman on December 1, where he defeated Prince Albert’s Joey Gobeil in a light heavyweight fight.
In the first two rounds of the match, Sutherland found himself in a peculiar position a couple of times and looked like Gobeil had him locked in a submission move. However, Sutherland fought out of it and survived both rounds.
Sutherland said his training really paid off to get out of those types of positions. He and his coach worked on a lot of ground situations, knowing that Gobeil would try those types of moves.
“I knew he was going to do a lot of that stuff because I knew he was a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu.”
When on the ground, Sutherland did all he could to find a way to get back on his feet.
“I was like ‘OK don’t panic, he’s going to hit you with some shots, nothing you haven’t been hit with before. Stay cool, don’t do anything stupid, be smart and get back to your feet’,” he said.
Sutherland led with an aggressive attack in Round 3 which caused the match to be stopped.
“I hit him with the head kick and that’s when the ref stepped in,” he said.
Even though Sutherland was victorious, there were times that Gobeil looked in control but the Duck Lake product never gave up.
“I’m no quitter. My First Nations warrior spirit said ‘do not quit. You’re a warrior,’ warrior’s don’t quit, they keep on fighting,” he explained.
Sutherland added that he was really proud of himself, but dedicated the fight to his family.
“I was training three months for this fight. And, what made it even harder, was being away from my family and friends. I just hated being away from them and to just get this W and win it for them, it felt really great.”
Sutherland had lots of family and friends cheering him on during his fight.
“I saw them in the crowd and I saw them cheering me on and they gave me that extra push,” he noted.
Sutherland started training for kick boxing when he was 12 years of age and he began MMA fighting as an amateur at the age of 16. He was glad to see all his hard work and training pay off and is hoping to have another fight lined up sometime in 2019.
There were five other fights during the Modern Fighting Championship 2. Lloydminster’s Drayton Angus defeated Taylor Bull of Wetaskiwin, Alberta. The fight went the full three rounds and Angus won by split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28).
Winnipeg’s Lee Gaudet defeated Edmonton’s Cole Campbell in a lightweight fight. Gaudet won the match on a Rear Naked Choke in the first round.
Thunder Bay, Ontario’s Mike O’Neill defeated North Battleford’s Blair Oster with a Rear Naked Choke in round one while Lethbridge, Alberta’s Lee Mein took down La Ronge’s Devon Smith with a Straight Armbar.
Adam MacDougall of Antigonish, New Brunswick defeated Saskatoon’s Eric Wilson by knockout (Head Kick) in the first round of the evening’s main event.
Overall, the Modern Fighting Championship was a success according to co-promoter Adam Lorenz.
“It was a good crowd, and the fights went really well,” he said.
Lorenz added that he would’ve liked to have more than six fights at the event, but the fights they did have were quality matches, featuring high level athletes.
Lorenz would like to have the Modern Fighting Championship come back to Warman in May. But, he cautioned, organizers will assess how well this fight went financially and if it generated enough buzz within the community.