By KOTC Staff; photo courtesy TKO Photography
When King of the Cage Canada heads to Yellowknife next month to host its latest event on September 17th, fans from the Northwest Territories will have no shortage of fighters from the Canadian region to cheer for. One of them will be light-heavyweight Zach Blaber, who will be looking to record his sixth pro win when he squares off with fellow KOTC vet Jon Ganshorn.
“I spend half of my time in Fort Smith and half of the time in Edmonton,” said the 29 year-old Blaber, who also operates two businesses alongside his wife. “It means a lot to me to fight in Yellowknife. To be a part of the first pro event in NWT and such an established organization like King of The Cage; I am honoured to be in the main event. The MMA scene in the north is still in its infancy but is growing with its popularity.”
Heading into the fight Blaber (5-2) has won four straight bouts, which includes a first round, stoppage win over Jason Rorick at KOTC Canada’s “Combustion” event last May. The wins came after Blaber dropped back-to-back bouts in 2009, following a successful pro debut victory over Eric Chouinard.
“I would attribute my recent success to surrounding myself with the right people such as Shara Vigeant, Mitch Clarke,Tim Hague, Kyle Cardinal, Kevin Royal and of course all the guys that come to the gym and train,” said Blaber.
Unlike some fighters, who may train for several years before they decide to test the waters of professional MMA, Blaber’s aforementioned debut took place shortly after he begun training in the sport.
“I started training in the fall of 2008, when Dean Cox moved to Fort Smith and started teaching Jiu Jitsu,” said Blaber. “I train at Cardinals Sport Gym as well as Cageside Jiu Jitsu .”
When Blaber heads to Yellowknife next month, it will mark the first time he will compete in 2011, as the surging light-heavyweight hasn’t fought since October when he TKO’d Devon Neis.
“Yeah 2011 has had its ups and downs,” said Blaber. “I broke my ribs in March before a title fight with top ranked Tim Chemelli in which JonGanshorn stepped in on short notice. Then my wife gave birth to our new daughter in July. I am excited to get back in the cage.”
In Ganshorn, Blaber will face a man who has gone 2-2 in his last four bouts, after scoring back-to-back victories with KOTC Canada to begin his career.
“I don’t know much about Jon Ganshorn other than the fact that he trains at a great camp, and is a very tough guy with an underrated ground game.”
“I feel that my best strength as a fighter is my heart and work ethic,” said Blaber, while discussing his abilities and what he will bring to the table when he fights Ganshorn. “I come to the gym and put in a hundred percent every day. I have a lot of weaknesses but try to improve on them every day.”
And how does Blaber see his September 17th bout with Ganshorn unfolding?
"I am not the type to predict a fight, but anyone who has seen me fight knows I’m going in there giving all I got and expect fireworks,” said Blaber. “Don’t blink because I am coming with speed and power. The fans will get their money worth.”