Veitch to Rap and Rap Knuckles at KOTC Catalyst
Citizens of Vernon have another great reason to arrive on time for King Of The Cage: Catalyst this Saturday– his name is Tyson Veitch. Veitch is a local high school student and he will be appearing in his second amateur fight at the top of the under card. Competing in such an established and respected promotion is a fantastic opportunity for this dedicated young fighter. He will get to experience the thrill of fighting in front of the 3000-strong hometown crowd at the Westbild Centre and Tyson’s friends and family will have their first chance to see him fight live.
I caught up with Tyson to ask him some questions about his training, his plans for the future, and his feelings about his upcoming fight.
One of the first topics we covered was the scare he had less than a week ago when he learned that his intended opponent had pulled out of the fight with a torn ACL. Soon after, Tyson was relieved to learn, via Facebook, that a replacement fight had been found for him. According to Tyson,”His name is C.J. Bagg and he was supposed to fight another guy, but the other guy got the swine flu. So they just scrapped us together.” Now that he has a new opponent, there’s very little on Tyson’s mind besides training.
There’s been some change on that front too, though. The gym where Tyson has been training for some time, Alliance MMA in Vernon, recently relocated. Okay, so it’s more like it became subsumed into another gym– Avatar Self Defense in Kelowna, B.C. As a result, Tyson has joined with Team HaVoK MMA who make their home there. Still, not everything about Tyson’s new training facility is unfamiliar, “Yeah for a while now I’ve been training with Jason St. Louis at Alliance and he’s known the guys at HaVoK for a while. His gym wasn’t doing so good so we decided to start going out there and, yeah, they’re a really good team. Jason’s teaching BJJ out there now; he’s their new BJJ coach.”
In the end, it sounds like the change was for the best. After all, training at a bigger, better equipped facility, especially in a larger centre like Kelowna, also means an increase in the quantity and quality of training partners. That sort of challenging environment can only help a developing fighter. According to Tyson, who considers himself a well-rounded fighter, he trains “probably between six and ten [hours per week], but that’s not including running and doing other stuff.” That number has only gone up in recent weeks with his fight at KOTC: Catalyst looming.
One thing is clear, he spends a lot of time training for a guy who’s still in high school. Of course, with MMA having become such a priority for Tyson, school is not the first thing on his mind. When asked how he balances his studies with his MMA training, Tyson responds, “Ugh! Yeah, I try.” When pressed for his opinion of high school, he explained that, as it was for so many of us, he considers getting his diploma a necessary challenge to be overcome, “Naw, I don’t like it. So I’m just trying to get that done.” The candor was appreciated and, certainly, we all must sometimes do things we do not truly enjoy.
Luckily for Tyson Veitch, he has more than enough passions in life to keep him inspired.
One of them is the dream of turning pro one day in mixed martial arts. When asked if such a move is in the cards, he revealed, “I actually wanted to turn pro right away, but my trainers told me to get like five or ten amateur fights to get some experience. So yeah, I’m just doing that.” Again, that is probably for the best. It gives him time to wrap up that school thing, right Tyson? “Yeah, so I’ll keep doing amateur fights for another year or two or something.”
Another of Tyson’s passions is his rap group called CreativeBloodline. He’s one of the group’s three members along with with his brother and their good friend, “We just have fun in my brother’s basement. He has a beat-making program.” As you might have guessed, Tyson is being extremely modest here. In fact, CreativeBloodline has numerous slickly-produced tracks available on their myspace account. A quick glance at the page reveals them to be a top notch local group. They have opened for major acts like Sweatshop Union and won numerous group and individual awards. Tyson goes by the stage-name “Ora,” while his brother is known as “MC Leverage” and their good friend is “Killimatic.” I am generally not the type to lavish praise, but I can honestly say that CreativeBloodline has created some of the tightest raps I have heard in some time.
Given the importance of a great walk out song, it is not surprising that Tyson Veitch intends to bring CreativeBloodline with him to the Westbild Centre this Saturday, “We’re going to be performing at the King Of The Cage. I’m going to perform first– sing a song– and then walk out.”
Unsurprisingly, Tyson is also passionate about putting on great fights for MMA fans, “That’s what it’s all about– giving the crowd a show.” He is so excited that he’s not even nervous about his upcoming fight, “I’m anxious more than anything. I just want to get in there, close up the gate, and and start throwing down.” Of course, there is no reason for Tyson to doubt his skills. He’s fresh off a decision win in his first amateur fight, which took place in Lethbridge, Alberta. It was on the undercard of the Rage In The Ring 13 show on October, 17th. On that night, Tyson fought against a young, local fighter named Kolton Menzak, ” I just went in there and did my gameplan. I did exactly what I wanted to do. I took it to the ground. ”
Obviously, Tyson hopes to be victorious in front of his own hometown crowd at King Of The Cage: Catalyst and he’s dong everything he can to ensure that happens, “I’m feeling good. I was in really good shape for my last fight and that was only like a month ago. So my cardio base is already up. I just needed to keep it up. I’ve just been doing some runs, doing shark bait [numerous rounds with fresh opponents], and I’ve been training lots. I feel good and I’m ready to go.”
As if there weren’t enough good reasons for MMA fans to check out King Of The Cage:Catalyst this Saturday (Nov. 28th), Tyson Veitch will open the night with a live musical performance, a great local sports story, and all the fighting fury he can muster. If you’re in the area, and you’ve got $38 to spare, how can you possibly resist? You can’t. I’ll see you there.
Ticket information is available at www.ticketseller.ca, or by calling (1-250) 549-7469. Top MMA News encourages fans to support their local promotions. There is nothing like live MMA!
Josh Oliveira is also a writer at BC MMA Fan