Justin Condie is staying in Texas to train at an elite mixed martial arts club after a 50-second TKO to go 3-0 as a pro on the weekend.
Unexpected costs imposed by the new federal COVID-19 protocols were a factor in the decision. But Condie said holding back to learn more from top professionals is the smart play, at least until it’s clearer what the rules will cost them. They have seen quotes at $2,000 for the first three days at the hotels, he said, with up to two weeks of whatever else possible.
Condie and a team of Canadians went to the United States three weeks ago in preparation for the Peak Fighting event at the Texarkana, Arkansas Convention Centre.
He’s a member of the Kalsamrit Martial Arts team out of Bowmanville, Ontario with head coaches Brendan Kaljundic and Justin Bruckmann. Condie, Kaljundic and three other pro fighters made the trip together and had been training at Genesis MMA, run by UFC fighters Mark and Montana Delarosa since mid-January.
“It felt good to go through the emotions again, shake off the ring rust and compete,” Condie said Monday about the Saturday night fight. “I’m looking forward to testing myself in the next one with a game opponent.”
Knowing Condie is a skilled striker, the hometown favourite Daniel Staggs went to take the Canadian to the ground early. It backfired. Condie quickly moved to a full mount position and rained fists on his head with both hands. Staggs could only cover up until the referee stepped in.
Condie, fighting in the light weight division at 155 pounds, has his sights set on becoming a champion and will get his chance after signing a three-fight deal with Battlefield Fight League out of British Columbia. His fourth pro battle is tentatively scheduled for March 19 against a 3-0 pro from Ireland, Darian Sinagoga.
“My mind is focused and ready for a solid run at a pro title,” Condie said last week before the fight. “It’s my time to put all my experience to work.”
Condie, ranked 12th among 31 active light weight pros in Ontario, won his pro MMA debut in June 2019 at the age of 30 – so he knows time is of the essence.
“I have to push out my best effort with the time I have left,” he said, describing his training camp in Texas the past couple weeks as a “breath of fresh air.”
They’ve been treated well by Genesis, Condie said.
“The team was welcomed with open arms and always good vibes on the mats during training sessions getting the push and knowledge we all need to grow.”
Condie said he appreciates the opportunity in front of him.
“I’m on the mats with Bellator, UFC, IFA, Lion Fight and other high level fighters and coaches every day, soaking up the knowledge and experience,” he said.
Condie hadn’t fought since his first two pro matches in 2019. In June, he submitted Justin Taveirne with a rear-naked choke in the third round and the won a unanimous decision against Joe Petahtegoose six months later.
Condie started his amateur career in kickboxing with Action School of Fitness and Arts (now Action MMA), a North Bay club run by Mattawa’s Corey Jackson, and was a main feature in the Quest for the Voyageur Title events held at the Mike Rodden Arena during Voyageur Days.
He fought and coached under the Big Country flag in Lindsay, Ontario before joining the Kalsamrit team.
There's a Facebook group page for Justin 'King' Condie to follow his quest. If you want to support his fighting career, Condie said he gratefully accepts e-transfers: firstname.lastname@example.org
Dave Dale is a Local Journalism Reporter with BayToday.ca. LJI is funded by the Government of Canada.
Dave Dale, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, BayToday.ca