By Kelsey Mowatt; photo credit World Victory Road
After winning back-to-bouts to close out 2009, the 2010 campaign for Nick Denis did not go accordingly to plan, as the bantamweight competed just once at Sengoku Raiden Championship 12 in March, before incurring year ending injuries. After having a busy, four fight campaign in 2009, however, Denis conceded to FCF that there were some positives that stemmed from his injuries, rather than just negatives.
“I was injured last year, March 2010,” said Denis, who hasn’t fought since he was submitted by Yuji Hoshino at SRC 12. “I had a sprained ankle and compressed nerve in my neck - all from the same sparring session. I couldn't even lift 15 pounds over my head with my right arm. I had to take time off, do physio, and let my body heal. It was good at first cause I could live a 'normal' life, have some beers. I drove across the country, enjoyed life outside of MMA. Today my health is one hundred percent.”
While some fighters are concerned about developing ring rust after going months without fighting, Denis clearly believes that maintaining both physical and mental health, are of much more value.
“Meh, it hasn't been that frustrating really,” said Denis, while discussing whether or not he grew frustrated with his predicament and the prospect of developing ring rust. “There are pros and cons. I enjoyed my time off and now enjoy training full time and getting back at it. I am definitely not worried about ring rust. We go hard here in training, always with really great guys. I think taking some time off sometimes is good for you. Whether my last fight was a month ago or a year ago, I always have the same mindset when I'm ready to fight.”
Now having finally recovered, Denis will make his return at MMA Live’s upcoming premiere event, which will take place May 16th, at London, Ontario’s John Labatt Centre. Denis (9-2) will square off with WEC veteran Kyle Dietz (5-2), who hasn’t fought since December, 2009, when he was tapped out by the veteran Brad Pickett.
I think there was talk about getting fights in Ontario starting around late March. Robin Black originally approached me, and worked everything out. At this point
“What I know about Kyle Dietz is that he is a part of my plan to get myself to the UFC,” said Denis, when asked what he knows about his upcoming opponent and how he is preparing for the fight. “There is a plan in place and I am going to work hard at achieving it. I moved to Montreal to train under Firas Zahabi at Tristar, as well as Howard Grant at Grant Brothers Boxing. I'm also working with Jonathan Chaimberg for my conditioning. There are tons and tons of great guys out here to train with everyday, so it has been really great. I plan to fight as often as possible once I get back in the ring next month.”
The upcoming MMA Live 1 card is just one of many MMA events that have been scheduled to take place in Ontario this year, after the Province finally signed off on the sport last year. For Denis, who before relocating to Montreal lived in Ottawa, getting the chance to finally compete in the Province is an exciting event.
“I think there was talk about getting fights in Ontario starting around late March,” Denis mentioned when asked how he came to signing with the Jones Entertainment Group that is promoting MMA Live 1. “Robin Black originally approached me, and worked everything out. At this point I am not sure if it is a multi-fight deal or not, but we do have plans to do multiple fights with MMA Live.”
“I am excited for Ontario to finally be regulated and legal,” added Denis. “There are a ton of new promotions starting up there, and I think it's great for fighters to get more opportunities to get fights close to home. On the other side, from what I've heard the medicals seem a bit more annoying and strict.”