A pair of Muay Thai athletes from the Airdrie Martial Arts Centre are geared up and ready for their next matches in their careers Sept. 23.
Eighteen-year-olds Manuel Cofre and Austin Rodrigue will enter the ring at the Deerfoot Inn and Casino as part of the main card for the International World Championship Muay Thai Dual Duel presented by Mike Miles Muay Thai.
Airdrie Martial Arts Centre co-owner and head trainer Luis Cofre said the fights will serve as a good indicator of where both fighters stand, and will be good preparation for the upcoming 2017 Muaythai Canada National Championships this November.
“Both fighters have been winning their last few fights, so another win definitely puts them in the right mindset to compete at a high level at nationals,” Cofre said. “They’ve both been in camp for about five weeks and have been training together, which is great because you get to support and push each other along.”
Rodrigue comes into his bout in the 165-pound class as the less experienced fighter, but said he isn’t going to let that discourage him. He will compete in his first-ever full Muay Thai match with Tyson Green, who has more than 10 fights in his career, while Rodrigue has five.
After starting out his career on a three-fight winning streak, Rodrigue dropped a contest in Medicine Hat earlier this year, but got back on track this past June to improve his record to 4-1.
“I love this sport and everything about it,” Rodrigue said. “Losing is part of the game. I’m willing to take a loss and learn from it, but I’d rather not.”
Rodrigue said he has been working on his footing and keeping tight in the ring during training camp, adding it will be important to use his stamina to his advantage if he hopes to come away with a win.
“I know I’ve got the gas in the tank. It’s just about finding my openings and taking my shots,” he said. “I’m going to set the pace. When you’re dictating the pace, you get to pick the shots. You’re fighting your fight, not theirs.”
Manuel will take on Jonah Mofit of Edmonton. Manuel is carrying a 2-1 record in the 167-pound class and is looking to earn win number three in his career.
“These are some prestigious fights for both boys,” Cofre said.
Following the event, both fighters will turn their attention to the Muaythai Canada National Championships in Toronto.