By KOTC Staff
When Brad Stewart steps into the cage to face Matt Baker at King of the Cage Canada’s upcoming November 21st card in Edmonton, it will be nearly one year to the day that the Fort St. John fighter won just his second pro bout. At the time, few would have likely predicted that one year later, the relative newcomer to the sport would be within striking distance of a middleweight title shot.
“Well from what I’ve heard I’m starting to get some recognition within KOTC but I'm not too concerned with any rankings or anything like that,” said Stewart (4-0), who since stopping Ryan Sieben in the first round at KOTC Canada’s “Accelerator” event last November, has earned wins over Allan Hope and Elmer Waterhen in the 2010 campaign. “I've only just begun training and fighting over the last couple of years. I just want to keep training hard and take it one fight at a time and hope everything works out. As far as a title shot, if KOTC wants to give me it I'll take it but I'm really in no rush.”
Of course standing in his way is Matt Baker, who is coming off a KO win over Jamey Dearman at the promotion’s “Fearless” event in April, to run his record to 3-2. Although Baker has two losses in five fights, both came against Team Toshido’s Clay Davidson, who until losing to Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu star Robert Drysdale this past weekend, had won five straight.
“I know that Matt Baker is an aggressive fighter and has seemed to overwhelm his opponents with his size and strength,” Stewart noted, when asked to assess the abilities of Baker, who trains with the renowned Revolution fight team. “His striking seems to be pretty good so I do think that the match-up between the two of us is going to make for an exciting fight. His fights have been fast so his skill sets haven't really been showcased as far as I could see, besides being very aggressive.”
Stewart continues to train out of Iron Rhino MMA in Fort St. John, a training regiment which clearly has worked so far in the undefeated fighter’s brief career. Recently, the camp brought in some added expertise in the form of MMA pioneer and BJJ black belt, Shannon “The Cannon” Ritch.
“We've got a good variety of people to train with at Iron Rhino and I've been doing a lot of striking with Clint (Parker),” Stewart said. “We also had Shannon Ritch come up and work a lot of ju-jitsu with us making this a real good training camp.”
While Stewart continues to take one fight at a time, with 2011 fast approaching, the middleweight has begun to consider what he hopes unfolds over the coming year.
“In 2011 I want to probably fight 2-3 times and keep my undefeated record going.”
Stewart’s prediction for November 21st?
“I predict that this fight is not going to go to decision, so it should be exciting.”
KOTC Canada’s “Forty-Eight” card will be hosted by Edmonton’s historic Rexall Place, and will feature a middleweight bout between UFC veteran Joe Riggs and Trent Thorne, for the Canadian interim championship. The winner will face current champion, Ryan Chiappe, in 2011.