A former Pride Gym fighter has taken a giant leap forward in his Mixed Martial Arts career with a convincing victory at Glory 10 at Citizens Bank Arena in Los Angeles last month.
On one of the biggest of MMA stages, Muay Thai fighter Charles Bisset faced a daunting and towering foe in six-foot-five-inch Matt Baker, but in the end Bisset pulled out a three-round unanimous decision victory to take the Sept. 28 undercard.
“It was amazing,” said Bisset who had been seriously ill leading up to the fight. “I fought a super-tall guy, the tallest guy I ever fought, so it made for an interesting fight.”
Bisset was unable to train and barely made the weigh-in after battling a bad body flu all week. The Retalick native was in bed for six days prior to weigh-in and he was so sick he was worried about his endurance and power during the fight, but never once considered cancelling.
“I know what it’s like when people back out and I’ve never done it to anybody, so I kind of fight by the sword and die by the sword.”
And with MMA legend Rob Kaman, Andrew Mannart, and training partner Andrew Hager in his corner, the 26-year-old changed his strategy and relied on a stripped down more technical version of his assault.
“I was super happy with my performance after watching the tape,” said Bisset. “It was really technical, got in there made it a little bit dirty, it was a good fight.”
Bisset rocked Baker a few times with his punches and, characteristic of his Dutch style, connected consistently with low kicks, but rather than press for the knockout, he retreated and stayed conservative in his output.
“I didn’t throw as much volume,” said Bisset. “The thing I was concerned about is that I didn’t train for literally six days, and I was a little concerned about my gas, which I wished I would have pushed it because I was totally fine, my endurance was fine after.”
The series of Glory tournaments are held all over the globe and feature the best MMA fighters in the world. The big-venue exposure for undercard fighters like Bisset can only aid an already impressive career.
“It was great exposure . . . it’s the biggest kickboxing promotion in the world. There were people I looked up to as a kid that were fighting on this show, it was amazing to be around.”
Bisset’s record goes to 17-4, and includes a National Muay Thai Canadian title, the North American Muay Thai championship, and most recently the World Kickboxing Association’s cruiser weight title which he won in Medicine Hat last April against British and European champion David Wright.
Coach Kaman was pleased with the result considering the circumstances, and told Youtube interviewer Marcus Kowal that the former Pride Gym fighter has unlimited potential.
“He is another legend, if he listens and does what he has to in the ring,” said Kaman. “It’s a step up for him to be in a big arena, lots of pressure. He did good, not great, but good, we just need to step it up . . . He has everything it just has to come out.”
Bisset continues to balance an acting career with a busy training and fighting schedule, but no matter what he is always sure to acknowledge his start at Trail’s Pride Gym.
“I want to give Glen (Kalesniko) a lot of credit too. He has one of the best gyms in Canada and Trail and the Kootenays are lucky to have him. He really dedicates a lot of his time and energy to develop just not fighters but strong and confident individuals.”
After Glory, Bisset, who also picked up a sponsorship from Sammy Hagar’s Beach Bar Rum, will next fight against 49-bout-veteran Danny “Boy” Bennett in November in Olympia, Wash.
Glory 10 was a middle-weight tournament that saw hometown favourite Joe Schilling defeat number-one world ranked Russian Artem Levin in an extra round, for the $150,000 grand prize.
Bisset dedicated the fight to his Uncle James who had passed away just weeks before the fight.