Pride Gym fighter battles for North American title

Former Pride Gym fighter Charles Bisset is the top draw at Cali 25, Mega Show II next week in L.A.

Former Pride Gym fighter Charles Bisset will take a swing at the North American kickboxing title on Nov. 10 at the Burbank Marriott Congress Center in Los Angeles as the top draw in Cali 25, Mega Show II.

The 29-year-old Retallack native specializes in Muay Thai fighting but will make a slight departure into kickboxing for the upcoming tilt against Moses Murrietta for the ACB North American cruiserweight title.

“It’s going to be a kickboxing fight, so I can’t use elbows,” said Bisset. “The guy I’m fighting is more of an MMA (Mixed Martial Arts) fighter, and he’s a pretty big dude so it should be interesting.”

His last Muay Thai fights were in Thailand in December 2016, where Bisset claimed two impressive victories over top Thai fighters.

Bisset will look to improve his professional record of 25 wins and seven losses against a less experienced Murrieta at 5-1. But what the six-foot-one, 185-pound Murrieta lacks in experience he makes up in tenacity, and the Fontana, Calif. native will be itching to get back in the ring after suffering his only loss to Ruslan Shamilov on Aug. 5 in Helsinki, Finland.

“He seems kind of technical for an MMA fighter, but when he gets those 10-ounce gloves on I imagine he’s going to come hard,” said Bisset. “I’m not going to go out there guns blazing right away, I’m going to work the game plan, chipping and working, but if I see something I’ll take it. I’m more of a technical fighter, not a brawler.”

The NA kickboxing title is another step towards a shot at the world title for Bisset, who has been working hard training six days a week with a tough mix of Bellator fighters, trainers, and Golden Glove hall-of-fame boxer and MMA fighter Jeremy Williams.

“I have really well-rounded camp, and if I do what I’m capable of doing, we’ll see what happens,” said Bisset. “You never know what’s going to happen in a fight, but it’s a good fight ahead of me and I’m not looking past this guy, but my promoter has a lot of big things in the future.”

Bisset will not only alter his fighting style, but brings his fight weight down to accommodate his opponent for the pending cruiserweight bout.

“Physically, I’m in the best shape I’ve ever been,” said Bisset. “In the last six months, I’ve just maintained and I feel great. My weight’s lower, I changed my nutrition, and I’ve always been in shape, but I feel great and I’m walking 15 pounds lighter than I’ve walked in a long time.”

Muay Thai fights traditionally go five rounds, however, Bisset says the frantic pace of kickboxing makes it a three-round event with non-stop action.

“It’s more of a high-paced fight. It’s made around KOs. They want to see knock outs, so they’re hoping somebody is going to get knocked out, and there is a good possibility one of us will get knocked out.

“It’s a sprint. Go in there and be smart, but hit to kill.”

In addition to Bisset’s battles in the ring, he also works as an actor and a Muay Thai coach whose fighter, Matt Hermant, recently won the California State title.

Pride Gym’s Glen Kalesniko began training Bisset as a 12-year-old, and continues to train fighters of all ages at the Trail-based gym today. Bisset owes much of his success to those early days, and returns to Trail every summer to revisit his roots and run a camp at Pride Gym alongside Kalesniko.

The bout goes Nov. 10 at 7:30 p.m. at the Burbank Marriott.

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