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FORT ST. JOHN, B.C. — A Fort St. John athlete was one of the crowd-pleasers at the first ever mixed martial arts event in Terrace this past weekend.

17 year-old Nick Young entered the ring last Saturday night as one of the openers on the card at Fivestar Fight League 19, though he wasn’t originally scheduled to. In fact, Fivestar MMA owner Justin Donally says that he hadn’t originally been planning to promote a show this summer until just over a month ago.

Donally says that he was approached by the event’s co-promoters about renting his cage for their event earlier this year, before being asked to help with promoting the event. At that point, Donally decided to co-promote the event, with only seven weeks to prepare. Despite the short timeframe to prepare, Donally says that the event was a big success with nine matches and three title fights.

Donally explained that originally, Travis Lussier was scheduled to compete in a title fight, but had to back out just two weeks prior after breaking his wrist during training. Donally was able to get Young to compete in a kickboxing match against an opponent his age, though the match was changed to a jiu-jitsu match after new provincial regulations were introduced only sanctioned kickboxing matches with athletes aged 18 and up. With only days left, Young’s opponent had to back out. Faced with not having an opponent, Donally was able to find another opponent for Young, a fellow by the name of Dan Wong. The kicker was that though he’s roughly the same height and weight as Young, Wong is in his mid-20’s.

Young said that he did have some trepidation about the fight, though it was largely due to the fact that he had no idea about who his opponent was. “I couldn’t even see how big he was the day before, I was pretty much going into it blind,” said Young. “That was a little bit freaky for me because usually I know who I’m going to be going against, I can see what their body type is, if they look stronger or weaker. But I kind of went into this with my eyes closed.”

The 5’5” tall 17 year-old, who had about an inch on Wong but weighed roughly the same at 155 lbs., was able to dominate Wong during the three 2-minute rounds. “I slammed him really good the first two rounds, it was tons of fun. As soon as I slammed him, the crowd went just nuts.” Donally said that Young was able to control the match, and was the only one attempting takedowns or submission. Young technically fought Wong to a draw, as the fight was submission-only, meaning no points were awarded.

Donally says that none of Fivestar’s athletes have any competitions planned in the near future, and he said that he’s working on plans for a major announcement about a possible event in Fort St. John some time later this year. He added that this summer, he’ll mostly be focusing on classes at the Fivestar gym.

Young meanwhile says that he doesn’t have any fights planned in the near future, and is going to enjoy the first half of the summer before resuming training in July ahead of the upcoming boxing season this fall.

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