By KOTC Staff
Nick Heynen is scheduled to make his King of the Cage debut at the promotion’s upcoming “Hypersonic” event in Calgary, Alberta; the only problem is the undefeated lightweight is without an opponent. Although the Lloydminster fighter is understandably disappointed that his original foe Mike Hodgson had to withdraw, Heynen is continuing to train hard for the June 26th card.
“It’s business as usual,” Heynen said. “I’m not changing anything. I wasn’t really putting together too much of a game plan for this guy (Hodgson); as far as what he’s able to do I really felt as though I could beat him anywhere that I wanted to take the fight. So, like I said, I’ll continue to train, continue to prepare to fight and hopefully they find me something.”
Heynen arrives in KOTC having gone 3-0 since he turned professional in 2010, with all three victories come way of TKO or submission. After training for several years before he decided to take a fight, the 27 year-old-fighter’s pro career is off to a good start.
“I’ve been training off and on for about the last four years or so,” said Heynen. “I worked on the drilling rigs for a long time, so I’d be out of town, so you could never train then you know? For about two thirds of the year I was out of town.”
“I was 26, going on 27 at the time, and a job opportunity came up where I could be home at some point during the day,” Heynen added, while discussing what was behind his decision to turn pro in December, 2010. “So now I’m at home at some point every day in Lloydminster so I can train. I decided it was kind of now or never so I made it happen.”
Before relocating to Lloydminster for work, Heynen honed his fighting abilities at the Canuckles facility in Calgary, home of Canadian MMA pioneer Max Marin. More recently, Heynen has been training out of Lloydminster’s MMA United gym, under the watchful eye of trainers like Jason Sagal and Travis Quesnel.
“I would say I’m well rounded,” Heynen said when asked to evaluate his skills. “I’m pretty confident fighting no matter where it goes. When I started learning MMA I didn’t just learn jiu-jitsu or wrestling. I went into a MMA club and started learning everything.”
“As far as what needs the most work I’d probably say my Muay Thai and jiu-jitsu,” Heynen conceded. “My wrestling and hands are probably stronger than my kicks and jiu-jitsu, but I like to work on everything.”
Although Heynen’s managed to score three wins since he turned pro approximately seven months ago, he’s not overly optimistic that he can make MMA a full time job in the short term.
“If I could get the sponsorship to do it I would,” said Heyen. “It’s tough in Canada; there’s not really a lot of money behind it up here. Where I’m at, everybody work’s in the oil patch for long hours, then train after. I’d like to do it full time; it would be much more beneficial obviously, but I’ll have to get some more big name fights in before the big sponsors start coming forward.”
Upon hearing what kind of schedule Heynen is forced to keep in order to prepare for a fight, there should be few questions about the lightweight’s dedication to the sport.
“There’s days where I only get maybe three hours of sleep because of work and training,” Heynen revealed. “Some days I’ll be able to train then go in and work all night, come home, want to train but then get called out to another job. It’s tough.”
"Hypersonic" will be hosted by Calgary's Deerfoot Inn and Casino, and will see Jordan McKay face Jayson Peck in the main event.