Local Muay Thai fighter returns from nationals with bronze

Red Deer's Will Quijada reflects on Toronto tournament

  • Nov. 16, 2016 3:40 p.m.

Although it had been four years since his last fight, local martial artist Will Quijada is feeling like a million bucks after stepping into the ring for the Canadian National Muay Thai Championship in Toronto this past weekend.

The annual tournament was Canada’s largest Muay Thai tournament ever with about 156 fighters on the card competing for the right to represent Canada at the IMFA World Championships

“It was tough but it felt so good to get back in there. I felt calm, cool, ready to go. I was ready,” recalled Quijada, 29, of his semi-final bout with Matt Mackillop of the Siam No. 1 House of Muay Thai in Toronto this past Saturday.

“I fought on Saturday for the semi-final against a pro Muay Thai fighter. I’m still an amateur so that was a big step up in competition,” said Quijada, who represented Canada on the world stage back in 2012.

Unfortunately, the Absolute Fitness co-owner had some things going against him right off the hop which hampered him from putting on the best fight that he could, the first being a lack of sleep due to the time difference.

“Not having the time to re-hydrate properly kind of sucked. But it was a really close fight. No way did I get my butt whooped. He probably pushed the pace a little bit more in the third and I think that’s what won him the fight. But it was very close, could have gone either way.”

Despite the loss in the semi-final matchup on Saturday, Quijada said being back in the ring was completely worth all of the hard work and training he has put in over the past year.

“I’m still buzzing off of the tournament.”

Over the past four years, Quijada has been focusing on training amateur and professional fighters at the local level, working as a personal trainer out of Absolute Fitness.

He said that time spent as a trainer helped him gain a better appreciation for how much fun it is to be in the ring and doing what he loves.

“It’s probably the most fun I’ve had in a long time. I loved every minute leading up to the fight, waiting for the fight and getting into the ring. Everything was so much fun.”

It wasn’t all fun and games, though. Competing in any kind of martial art at a high level requires a lot of hard work and dedication.

“Training is my life,” Quijada said, adding he trains all year round, regardless of whether he’s got a fight or and event coming up.

And when he does have a bout, the training only ramps up.

“About six to eight weeks out from the fight time, that’s when we start getting a little bit more intense. We do a lot more conditioning, we do a little bit more focused pad work. More sparring, more drilling. I’m training anywhere from three to six hours a day, five days a week for those six weeks.”

On top of that, fighters have to make sure that they can make their target weight by weigh-in time, meaning lots of dieting and no junk food.

“I go on a big clean eating diet. Absolutely no cheese, absolutely no alcohol. It’s a lot of vegetables and protein and a few carbs here and there to help get me down to weight and keep me fueled.”

It’s all worth it though, because when everything’s said and done, Quijada gets to represent his city on some of the biggest stages in the country.

“It was a big honour to do that. I had a lot of people help sponsor me to fly out to Toronto. That was a huge help, I had a GoFundMe where people were able to donate and I also raffled off some personal training through Absolute Fitness. It all helped tremendously.”

Quijada added that he’s going to take some time to rest and recuperate after last weekend’s fight before trying to get back in the ring himself.

He’ll be spending the next few weeks helping local fighters prepare for the Havoc MMA event in the City on Dec. 2nd.

zcormier@reddeerexpress.com

Just Posted

Johnny 2 Fingers and the Deformities play The Vat April 27th

Moose Jaw band is on a 39-day national tour from Quebec City to Vancouver

Council highlights

Council to fund Rimbey Boys and Girls Club for $15,000

WATCH: Second annual Our Best To You Craft Sale on now

Red Deerians can expect over 150 artisans, makers and designers

Red Deer RCMP look for James Holley on warrants

Holley is believed to be in possession of firearms

‘Battle of the Badges’ charity hockey game raises funds for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deer Emergency Services and RCMP will play hockey for a good cause

WATCH: ‘Battle of the Badges’ event raises money for Humboldt Broncos

Red Deerians get together at charity hockey tournament April 20th at Servus Arena

Austin Powers ‘Mini-Me’, Verne Troyer, dies at 49

Facebook page confirmed his death Saturday afternoon

Alberta man dead after snowmobile collision on B.C. mountain

The incident occurred on Boulder Mountain Friday morning

Speed Skating Canada fires coach Michael Crowe after investigation

Crowe was a coach on the American team from 1983 to 1991 and again from 1999 to 2006

5 things to know about the ongoing influx of asylum seekers in Canada

Number of illegal border crossings are up this year – as RCMP, military, politicians try to combat

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Trudeau ends 3-country tour with global reputation, alliances intact

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau finds footing on the world stage after China and India controversies

Leafs’ Matthews has top-selling jersey, edging Crosby, McDavid: NHL

Austin Matthews jersey sales top Pittsburgh Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid

Victims grant may miss needy parents due to eligibility rules: report

Only 29 of 50 applicants between 2013 and 2017 received the grant across Canada, a federal report says

Most Read