Prince Albert MMA scene continues to develop at rapid pace

Andrew
Andrew Schopp
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Complete MMA trainer Corey Lillis (left) poses with fighter Cody Bowman. On Tuesday, Bowman received a promotion on his belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. Every belt has four stripes and Bowman added a pair of stripes as he received his first promotion since joining Complete MMA last year. Bowman was victorious in Saskatoon over the weekend, beating Saskatoon's Darcy Wilson at a Honor Fights promotion event in the Bridge City. Submitted photo 

If it isn’t already, Prince Albert is rapidly becoming the MMA capital of northern Saskatchewan. 

Following the success of a pair of Prince Albert Brazilian jiu-jitsu artists at an international tournament in Las Vegas, fighters coming out of local club Complete MMA continue to collect wins at major events while attracting high end talent from across the region. 

On Saturday, Complete’s Cody Bowman improved his amateur record to 5-5 with a triumph over Saskatoon’s Darcy Wilson at an Honor Fights promotion event in the Bridge City.

Also this week, the gym announced on Sunday that they are now affiliated with

two-time Mauy Thai champion Brad Wall as they bring the veteran in from Lethbridge as an instructor.

Complete trainer and founder Corey Lillis agreed that his club’s continued success on the mat coupled with brining in a new fighting style, are sure signs that the MMA scene in Prince Albert is developing at an outstanding pace. 

“The crowds at these events are just amazing,” Lillis said of the state of MMA in P.A and the province. “It’s always a packed crowd of enthusiastic and knowledge MMA fans. It’s nice to have some quality athletes take to these events and represent Prince Albert.”

Lillis added that the addition of Wall to the Complete team, makes his gym the first to bring Muay Thai to the city and the region.

“We just affiliated with Wall to bring a Muay Thai program to Prince Albert,” explained Lillis. “It will be the first every in the city and Northern Saskatchewan. We are exited to add Muay Thai to our scene and bring in a different style of martial arts.”

While Wall makes his way to Prince Albert, Bowman is ready to make his professional debut following what was likely his final amateur bout in Saskatoon over the weekend. 

Taking on Wilson, fighting out of Saskatoon’s Way of the Dragon gym, Bowman absorbed a series of hard punches in the early going but Lillis said his fighter was able to “weather the storm.”

“Cody did a tremendous job of remaining calm and basically controlling (Wilson),” Lillis recalled. “Cody took a hard one which dropped him to one knee and Darcy ended up following up with some punches which ended up in Cody’s guard.”

Lillis added that Bowman was able to reverse Wilson’s position, get on top of him and get the Saskatoon product into an arm bar for a quick win.

“He demonstrated a lot of patience and calmness,” Lillis said of Bowman. “He seemed to see that arm bar from a couple moves away and he just effortlessly grabbed it and secured the submission win.”

According to Lillis, Bowman is now ready to make his professional debut as the gym looks to get him on the card for a fall Rumble in the Cage event in Lethbridge.  

Since joining Complete MMA last year, Lillis noted how Bowman, like the sport itself, has developed rapidly.

“He’s become a lot more confident fighter,” Lillis said. “His ground game has improved leaps and bounds and his grappling level has gone up tremendously. He’s making a commitment to the program, he’s bought into it and he’s doing what he needs to do to be successful.” 

andrew.schopp@paherald.sk.ca

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