Sports

Allen shines in MMA debut

Months of training for 20 seconds in the ring.

It hardly seems like a fair trade off, but Ryan Allen will gladly take it. That’s how long it took the Sicamous native to secure a TKO win against Ben Anderson in his mixed martial arts (MMA) debut at the Battlefield Fight League at the River Rock Casino in Vancouver.

The 6-foot-1 Allen, who competes in the light heavyweight division (205 pounds), trains under Mario Deveault at Gracie Barra Shuswap/Vernon Brazillian Jiu Jitsu & MMA.

Allen, who competed at the 2010 Jiu Jitsu World Championships last summer, had more than 20 friends make the trip to Vancouver, which helped his nerves.

“It felt great to have that support. I had a whole cheering section,” he said.

Allen’s fight preparation included jiu jitsu, kickboxing, grappling, striking and intense cardio training, resulting in an all-around approach to the fight.

“I had a good mix of guys around me,” he said. “People don’t realize there is world-class training in the area. Going into the fight, there was no question in my mind I was prepared.”

Allen opened the fight with an overhand right that Anderson dodged, but he followed it up with a right uppercut that floored Anderson. A few more strikes to his downed opponent were all the referee needed to stop the fight.

“It was a big rush. It happened so fast. You spend all that time training and the fight only lasts so long,” said Allen, who celebrated by gorging on two hotdogs and three cheeseburgers.

While happy with his striking performance, Allen would have liked to put his ground game to use.

“My grappling is the better part of my game which is why I think they underestimated my striking. If the fight lasted longer it wouldn’t have been better or worse, just a different experience.”

Allen hopes to line up another fight, but it may not be in the near future as he is set to marry fiancé Collette Hohmann in June.

“I have strict rules from the fiancé about not being bruised up for the wedding,” he laughed.

Classes at Gracie Barra Vernon Jiu Jitsu & MMA run Monday to Saturday. Adult, women’s and kids programs available at.

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