Red Deer mixed martial artist Austin Ryan follows a simple yet modest doctrine as he continues along in his undefeated professional career.
“Don’t believe the hype about yourself, just take it as it comes,” Ryan said Friday, after successfully defending his Havoc Fighting Championship flyweight title with a first-round stoppage of Ottawa combatant Randy Turner, who entered the ring with an 8-3 record.
“I could have got beaten here tonight. He could have heel-hooked me and got the submission. The fight can always go either way, you just have to show the right skill in your profession.”
So far, Ryan has produced plenty of MMA hype and he had a healthy contingent of the sold-out throng of roughly 1,500 fight fans at the Westerner Prairie Pavilion cheering his every move in the main event of the Havoc10 card.
“The local boy always bring a show,” said Ryan of his Red Deer following.
He didn’t disappoint his throng of admirers, scoring a TKO victory just three minutes and 15 seconds into the bout.
“I put in a long, solid (training) camp,” said Ryan. “He took the fight on short notice. I don’t know how long he’d been training, that’s not for me to answer.”
The Red Deer fighter, who improved his pro record to 6-0, had at least limited knowledge of his opponent.
“I knew that he likes to clinch, that he’s a good, strong clinch wrestler and a heavy hitter,” said Ryan. “He’s a little slower than myself, I thought, but he’s a top contender nonetheless.”
Ryan, who turned pro two years ago after a brief, two-bout amateur run, is coached by Red Deer Arashi Do head instructor Gary Vig.
In the co-main event of Friday’s card, Clay Dixon of Edmonton scored a unanimous decision over Red Deer’s Brent Harvie in a featherweight bout. Dixon improved to 3-0 while Harviedropped to 3-2.
In the previous pro fight, a heavyweight tilt, Grayson Wells of Kelowna defeated former Red Deer and current Calgary fighter Chris Lafantasie by referee stoppage. Lafantasie, making his pro debut, hit the canvass 20 seconds into the opening round but was back on his feet almost immediately, yet the bout was stopped.
Wells, formerly of Edmonton, improved to 2-1 with the win.
Luke Spicer of Red Deer overcame a slow start to secure a unanimous-decision victory over Cody Krahn of Edmonton in a 200-pound category kick-boxing bout. Spicer absorbed some heavy blows, but was the busier of the two fighters.
Four amateur bouts preceded the pro card, and in the opener Chris Melanson of Edmonton made his competitive 135-pound division debut with a first-round win over Patrick Leblanc of Rocky Mountain House. Melanson won by rear naked choke, dropping Leblanc’s record to 0-3.
Evan Anderson of Regina defeated Matt Pink of Red Deer by rear naked choke at 53 seconds of the third round. Fighting in the 155-pound class, Anderson evened his slate at 1-1; it was Pink’s first amateur fight.
Jett Grande of Red Deer was a clear unanimous-decision winner over Rob Hall of Rocky Mountain House in another 155-pound bout. Both fighters made their competitive debuts.
In the final amateur bout, light heavyweight Mike Pyska of Edmonton improved to 2-0 with a first-round knockout of Red Deer’s Blaine Cust, whose competitive record dropped to 1-3.