Red Deer Muay Thai fighter hopes to earn spot with Team Canada

An amateur Muay Thai fighter from Red Deer is looking to earn a spot with Canada’s national team later this month.

Will Quijada, 29, is competing at the Canadian Muay Thai National Tournament in Toronto on Nov. 12 and Nov. 13, a Team Canada qualifier.

He will fight two professional fighters in the qualifying division.

“I’m a little bit of an underdog but I feel fresh. I feel really good, and I’m confident in my abilities,” said Quijada.

“I started (training) about six to eight weeks out from competition and I usually put in about three to five hours a day working on my striking, my mobility, my strength and my conditioning.”

Quijada has been competing in the sport for more than 10 years, and said he is looking forward to representing Red Deer on a national stage.

“I was born and raised in Red Deer, so this means a lot to me. I’ve trained at different clubs here in town, so I’m taking all my Red Deer-based knowledge to Toronto, and coming back with gold,” said Quijada.

“I’m really excited to whoop some pros’ butts.”

The last time he fought competitively was in 2012 at the last national tournament in Canada, where he found himself on top of the podium.

In 2012, Quijada also competed in Russia at the Saint Petersburg World Muay Thai Championships. He hopes that experience can translate into success in Toronto.

“Competing in Russia was out of my comfort zone including the flight there, cutting weight to make the bracket and competing against the world’s best.

“Having that experience will definitely help,” said Quijada.

jonathan.guignard@bprda.wpengine.com