Labrador Mixed Martial Arts fighter Collin Baikie, who was born and raised in Northwest River, won his first amateur fight on December 8th. The fight took place in the Kahnawake reserve just outside of Montreal. It was Baikie’s second amateur bout in his career.
Baikie’s involvement in MMA began just a couple of years ago. Before that, he was focused on bodybuilding. But, after being introduced to MMA, he put bodybuilding on the shelf to focus on his new passion.
“It teaches you to be a better person…there’s so much respect involved,” says Baikie. “You learn a lot about yourself.”
Baikie’s first fight happened in June, but his debut didn’t go as planned. He fought with an injured foot, and ended up losing the fight.
“Training wasn’t very good leading up to that fight because of the injury,” says Baikie. “That loss really broke me down, but it made me stronger and more motivated to train harder.”
Baikie redeemed himself in style on his December 8th fight. He trained even harder and was more mentally prepared for his second match. Baikie and his trainers had a clear strategy in place.
“The strategy was pretty much to strike with him because he was a wrestler. I didn’t want to let him get to close to me,” says Baikie.
The strategy worked. Baikie quickly got the upper hand in the fight and began doing some damage.
““I was pretty confident from the beginning. I knew that he was a wrestler, so I knew he was going to try and take me down. So I was trying to watch for that…I started striking with him and you could tell he wasn’t much of a striker,” says Baikie. “I noticed his hands were dropping a bit, so I gave him a really hard kick to the ribs with my right foot.”
The fight was less than two minutes old when Baikie put his opponent in a submission move known as the standing guillotine, forcing his opponent to tap out.
“It was the best feeling in my life,” says Baikie. “Growing up in a small town you don’t see much of this except on TV. It was a crazy experience.”
Some family, friends, and supporters made the trip to watch Baikie fight. Among them was his father Leander. He also watched his son’s first fight, and was happy to see Collin bounce back with a victory.
“As a parent you’re just nervous and excited…it was a relief that it was over so quickly,” says Leander. “It was tough to see Collin lose his first fight, but that’s how it works in all sports. You learn from your loses.
Baikie has lifter a weight of his shoulders, moving forward. The sting of defeat has been replaced by the joy of victory. Baikie hasn’t taken the importance of his first win for granted.
“For the last eight months, that (loss) was on my mind,” he says. “I wanted to show my coaches and myself that I could fight.”
Baikie’s next fight is on February 22nd. He plans to take his time as an amateur, instead of rushing into the pros.
“I’m still going to fight amateur. I still want to learn because I have a lot to learn yet. It’s only my second fight.”