Collin Baikie brings home amateur belt after victory in Montreal
© Derek Montague
To the thrill of many Labradorian sports fans, MMA fighter Collin Baikie was able to bring the Victory MMA Middleweight belt home with him. He won the title fight in Montreal on Nov. 29
Collin Baikie felt he had something to prove in his championship fight in Montreal.
After his last fight, which ended in a loss by disqualification, the North West River native refocused his efforts and training for his title bout on Nov. 29th.
The Amateur Mixed Martial Arts fighter was being cheered on from several hometown supporters who made the flight from Labrador to watch Baikie in action. Seeing the Labrador faces, and hearing the voices from friends and family in the crowd, gave him some extra motivation.
“Pretty much over half of the crowd there was cheering for me, which is a good feeling for me. A lot of local people came. A lot of hockey buddies and family and sponsors…it was just amazing,” says Baikie.
“It brings a good spirit. When you have your friends and that, it feels like there’s support there. Fighting, that’s what it’s all about; having support.”
“I fight for Labrador…I fight for you guys, that’s what really motivates me.”
Baikie made sure that those who bought expensive plane tickets to watch him fight didn’t waste their money. Roughly two minutes into the first round, Baikie won by TKO, after landing a hard kick to the head of his opponent, Simon Legarde.
The victory made Baikie the new Victory MMA middleweight champion, something that he wanted to achieve for a while.
“It was a really good accomplishment for myself because of the last fight of what happened, I had a lot to prove to myself and the people,” says Baikie.
“A couple months ago I visualized this belt…and I knew this was one of my goals I wrote down on paper.”
Baikie began the fight showing tremendous patience in the ring. Rather than going on a wild attack, he sat back and waited for Legarde to give him an opening.
“I studied the guy, I studied his fights and I knew what to expect,” said Baikie.
“He’s a grinder, so he likes to put the pressure (on), he likes to be impatient, he likes really wild swinging, going for takedowns really aggressively.”
As part of his strategy, Baikie knew that he would take some shots and a bit of punishment early on.
“I knew I was going to eat a few punches first, a few kicks. But I knew what I had to do,” said Baikie.
“He actually had really good timing and he gave me a good push kick to the stomach and I actually did feel that one.”
At one point, Legarde knocked the wind out of Baikie with an accidental kick to the groin area. The referee had to stop the fight momentarily so Baikie could recover. It must have been a hard kick, considering Baikie was wearing a steel cup at the time.
“(That) one kick really hurt. I was lucky I had a steel cup from Thailand that really protected me. Because that would have broken a normal plastic jock strap.”
Seconds after the fight resumed, Baikie landed a vicious kick to Legarde’s head that noticeably shook up the fighter. Moments later, the referee stopped the fight, declaring Baikie the winner.
Although Baikie won the fight quickly, the victory was the result of hard work and much preparation. Baikie believes that one must train mentally as well as physically for an upcoming bout.
“The thing about fighting is, it’s not so much the physical but it’s the mental (aspect) that’s the key,” said Baikie. “And once you can actually figure that out and know yourself really good and have control, that’s when you can be really smart about fighting…”
“You prepare yourself physically then, a week before your fight, you prepare yourself 100 per cent mentally.”
Baikie trains at the Tri Star Gym and gives a lot of credit to his coaches and mentors, especially Master Peter Sisomphou, who taught him skills that are valuable, both inside and outside the ring.
“He’s the one who really changed who I was as a person,” said Baikie.
“I just gave up all the negative things. I tried to turn everything negative into positive in every situation.”
After winning the middleweight belt, it didn’t take long for word of Baikie’s victory to spread through social media. Many Labradorians have taken pride in the win, and are happy to be able to call one of their own a champion.
“I appreciate all the fans, all the support,” says Baikie. It’s just amazing to see all the support. MHA Keith Russell mentioned me (in the House of Assembly). That’s a big deal, that means a lot to me.”
In January, Baikie will be traveling to Thailand, where he will be Muay Thai training. He anticipates defending his Victory MMA Middleweight title in March of 2014.
You can watch the video of the fight here:
Video courtesy of Victory MMA.