Fivestar MMA Fighters Lose Close Decisions In National Qualifier Finals

The Fivestar MMA Team at National Qualifiers in Lethbridge. Back row L-R: Jiu-Jitsu coach Lee Coogan, Blackbelt Jiu-Jitsu coach Shawn Albrecht, Owner/Boxing coach Justin Donally, Head MMA coach Brad Stewart, Training partner Chuck Grace. Front row L-R: Tania Nijjar from Toshido MMA in Kelowna, Matt Kertesz, Dylan Lielke, Travis Lussier, Kyle Baryluk. Photo credit: Justin Donally

LETHBRIDGE, A.B. – The Fivestar Mixed Martial Arts & Crossfit gym’s four fighters gave it their all in this weekend’s IMMAF Canadian National Team qualifiers in Lethbridge, but sadly didn’t quite make the cut.

28 year-old Kyle Baryluk (2-0), 32 year-old Dylan Lielke (10-1), 33 year-old Matt Kertesz (4-1), and 31 year-old Travis Lussier (5-1) are each competing for one of eight spots on the national team in the Bantamweight, Lightweight, Welterweight, and Middleweight weight classes respectively.

Kertesz set the tone for the team with a win via TKO against Richie Hall 52 seconds into Round 2 on Friday afternoon.

Kyle Baryluk began the action for the Fivestar team on Saturday, in his first fight, Baryluk dropped his opponent with a head kick, but got caught in an arm bar and was defeated by submission via armbar when he went in to finish. In his second fight, Kertesz faced off against last year’s World silver medalist Alex Martinez and ended up also losing by submission in an armbar. Lussier came out and dominated his opponent in the first round with wrestling and ground and pound, before getting caught with a front kick to the face in the second round. The fight was stopped due to a bad cut over one of his eyes. Lielke had a tough opponent but dominated every round and advanced to the finals.

Due to his opponent being unable to advance due to injury from the head kick, Baryluk ended up advancing to the finals on Sunday, which he lost to Sambath Kuhn by unanimous decision after 3 three-minute rounds. Lielke meanwhile also went the full three rounds on Sunday, sadly losing via split decision to John Nguyen.