By KOTC Staff
Last month Ryan Knysh informed King of the Cage Canada that there was “going to be a different outcome” in his March 18th rematch with Clayton Sheen. Despite being submitted by the experienced grappler during their first encounter in January, 2010, the 23 year-old-fighter’s confidence in his abilities never wavered, and at Brawl in the Mall 4 on March 18th, Knysh made good on his prediction.
“It honestly feels unbelievable to win the flyweight belt,” said an enthusiastic Knysh, who tapped Sheen out with a second round armbar to become the KOTC Canadian Flyweight Champion. “I’ve had a printed off picture of the KOTC title in my work out room for 6 years and to actually hold the real thing is a dream come true. Clay Sheen is an unreal fighter and a great guy; just to be able to fight him was an honour. He never gave me a chance to set anything up the whole fight, but I knew if I kept a level head, or it on my shoulders, that I had the ability to win.”
Heading into both of their bouts, Knysh was always quick to credit Sheen on his impressive ground skills, which have allowed the Murry Sholty Jiu-Jitsu fighter to win various submission tournaments as well as five professional MMA fights. That said, Knysh maintained that his own grappling abilities have continued to improve, and that he was up for the task if indeed their rematch played out on the mat.
“It wasn’t as much that I felt comfortable on the ground with Clay, because honestly I didn’t, but I knew I had some tricks up my sleeve and sooner or later someone will make a mistake,” Knysh noted. “He’s a big strong guy and his grappling is on another level, but training with Jarid (Bussemakers) had me more than confident in my submissions.”
Now Knysh begins life as the Canadian flyweight champ, which of course means that the Albertan fighter will continue to face notable competition from here on out.
“Right now I’m taking a couple months off to heal up and relax but I would like to fight later this year,” said Knysh, who submitted Gary Espinar last September before facing Sheen for the second time. “I have no one in mind; the 135 division is so stacked in Canada any fight will be a tough one. The Sheen trilogy is always another option if he wants that.”
Up next for KOTC Canada is the promotion’s “Mile Zero” event, which will take place April 29th, at the EnCana Centre in Dawson Creek. The event will be headlined by a welterweight bout between KOTC Canadian champion Garett Davis and American vet Gabe Rivas.