Pride means a lot to Charles Aaron Bisset when it comes to his family, his values, and his roots – and all played a compelling role in his WBC Muay Thai National cruiserweight victory last week.
Sporting the maple leaf and ‘Valhalla’ embroidered in gold across the front of his fighting trunks, Bisset battled for and won the World Boxing Council title at Cali 29:Bad Intentions 2 in Burbank, Calif. on July 20, beating Glory veteran Casey “Go” Greene in a split decision.
The Retallack native returned to Trail just days after the fight and spoke to the Trail Times at his former training grounds, Pride Gym, with longtime owner/operator/trainer Glen Kalesniko.
“We were the fight of the night … It was electric,” said Bisset. “I almost knocked him out in the third round, and the whole place was buzzing.”
The proud Canadian gave a nod to his roots and the Valhalla Mountains that rise across Slocan Lake as he fought in front of a packed house in southern California against a local L.A. fighter, who was once Bisset’s sparring partner.
The win was Bisset’s seventh in a row, five by knockout, to bring his record to 28-7 and he says, he couldn’t have done it without the support of his extended family at Pride Gym, a big reason why he returns every summer.
“It’s home, Glen’s like the God father of the kickboxing ring, he was the dad of my fighting so it’s always like coming home.”
For Kalesniko, also a former champion fighter, seeing his pupil win a WBC title is both satisfying and inspiring.
“It’s great seeing how Aaron (Bisset) has done, and that’s what you want to see,” said Kalesniko. “You want to see your guy succeed, and we have a lot of guys with a lot of potential, but Aaron is just one of the guys that kept breaking through, and breaking through. He has the hunger and the desire and that’s awesome to see.”
Greene, a lean and mean fighter, is a student of Dutch style kickboxing, with MMA experience, but without the ring experience of his 2012 sparring partner.
“It was a great fight,” said Bisset. “He’s fought in Glory eight times, so he has really good credentials, but I’m a way more technical fighter, and have more power.”
After two eventful rounds, Bisset’s best came in the third when he staggered Greene in the final minute.
“The third round I was really starting to move around, and I caught him just before the bell rang,” said Bisset. “He was out on his feet, and I was going in for the finish but the bell rang.”
In the fourth round, Greene came out determined, launching a flurry of blows that either missed or were blocked by Bisset, who countered and landed the majority of his shots.
In the fifth and final round, a confident Bisset caught one of Greene’s side kicks and promptly dumped the L.A. fighter to the canvas. Bisset continued to attack his legs, then rocked Greene with a hook head kick and a push kick, and followed up with a series of crushing punches and elbows.
“He was out on his feet, like a zombie,” said Bisset. “But I said, okay don’t punch yourself out, so I just kept circling and hacking his legs.”
He ended the match with an impressive scissor-front knee that dropped Greene again, and then threw elbow after elbow pounding Greene into submission – almost.
Greene, to his credit, survived the Valhalla attack and the fight ended without a knock out. Bisset’s corner was certain that he had done more than enough for a unanimous victory, however, as so often happens when left to the judges, results can be suspect.
“We were all super confident, but there’s a very well known judge/referee in the States – I’m not going to name his name – but they have highlight reels of him doing bad calls.”
The first judge awarded the fight to Bisset, and as predicted, the second judge gave the fight to Greene. Nevertheless, the third judge’s deciding vote and the WBC title was awarded to the Canadian.
With his success, the 30-year-old Bisset is becoming an established name in the North American Martial Arts world and a WBC belt will open even more opportunities, as promoters get in line to sign the professional fighter and actor to his next contract.
Bisset is taking it all in stride but is happy and humble about making a living as a professional actor and fighter and looks forward to the first defence of his title on September 25.
As the former Pride Gym fighter puts it: “Good things are happening.”