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Alberta MMA champion chasing fighting dream while serving community


A Strathcona County mixed martial artist is not afraid of a fight.

Graham Park is preparing to defend his Unified MMA light heavyweight championship on Aug. 14 at the River Cree Casino in Edmonton against Neil Berry of Lethbridge.

“I don’t think there’s anything that I’m going to throw at him that’s going to be a surprise, but I do intend to throw something at him that he can’t handle,” Park said.

When the 32-year-old is not preparing for his upcoming fight, he is spending much of his time working his day job as a firefighter with Edmonton Fire Rescue Services.

“Firefighting is an awesome career. It’s exciting. There’s some hard days and some days that’ll put a smile on your face,” Park said.

READ MORE: Alberta heavyweight Tanner Boser bounces back with UFC win over Ovince Saint Preux

Park has been a firefighter for three-and-a-half years and competing in MMA for 10 years. He has a passion for both careers, but admits balancing both can be a challenge.

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“It doesn’t leave me a lot of spare time,” he said. “I’ll leave night shift, come in, get a workout in, try to get some rest before the next night shift.”

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Unified MMA light heavyweight champion Graham Park prepares to defend his title, Thursday, July 29, 2021.


Global News

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Unified MMA light heavyweight champion Graham Park prepares to defend his title, Thursday, July 29, 2021.


Global News

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Unified MMA light heavyweight champion Graham Park prepares to defend his title, Thursday, July 29, 2021.


Global News

Park’s MMA coach has an excellent understanding of the challenging schedule his pupil endures. Jeff Montemurro is also a firefighter as well as the co-owner of Little Sweat Shop in Sherwood Park where Park trains. Montemurro has long been impressed with Park’s commitment.

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“He’s a dedicated athlete,” Montemuro said. “He comes in, he puts in the work. And obviously for him, his first love is firefighting and his first priority is firefighting, but he spends his other time dedicated to being a professional fighter.”

Despite Park’s busy schedule, Montemurro said the MMA champion has shown continual improvement.

“He’s improved in skill. He’s bigger, faster, stronger…  more mature as an athlete,” Montemurro said.

READ MORE: Canadian heavyweight Tanner (The Bulldozer) Boser takes short notice UFC fight

A win on Aug. 14 would be Park’s fifth straight victory and it will bring him a step closer to his ultimate goal of competing in the UFC.

“I think if I just keep to the path, keep (to) the grindstone and keep winning fights, that’s inevitable for me,” Park said.

But no matter where MMA takes him, Park said he is never giving up his day job.

“I love my job,” he said. “I love serving the people of Edmonton.”


Click to play video: 'Alberta fighter finds out his UFC fight in Edmonton has been cancelled'







Alberta fighter finds out his UFC fight in Edmonton has been cancelled


Alberta fighter finds out his UFC fight in Edmonton has been cancelled – Jul 26, 2019




© 2021 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.





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