Wanting the Belt: Hachey Looks to Become Elite 1 Champ
When it comes to mixed martial arts in Atlantic Canada, it seems that a few fighters are trying to make up for lost time and John Hachey is one of them. After an 18 month layoff, Hachey will look to keep his undefeated record intact as he faces Chris Johnson at Elite 1: Tapping Out. The fight, set to take place January 29th in Moncton, New Brunswick, will be for the Elite 1 Light-Heavyweight title.
Hachey is looking forward to finally getting back into the swing of things. He says,
“I am just very excited. This is my first fight in a while. I was injured there for a while and I am just happy to get back in.”
While there are a number of reasons why the Amherst, Nova Scotia native has been away from the scene, it was mainly because of two freak accidents with his biceps that happened during training sessions. Before the layoff, he grabbed four straight wins in various events throughout the Maritimes in Heavyweight and then Light-Heavyweight competition. Another reason for his absence from the cage was that he was making a big move. Early in his career, he was splitting time for sessions between Amherst and Truro. He decided to make the move to Dartmouth and join Fitplus headed by Scott Maclean. While making a life changing move can be difficult for anyone, it did not take long for Hachey to realize it was the right thing to do for his career.
“I came here to advance my skills. Fitplus is the best gym east of Montreal and one of the top five gyms in Canada in my opinion,” says Hachey. “The first night I was there, I thought it would be hard to move into a new place where the guys have their own circle already, but I was accepted right away. It’s just a bunch of great guys that are there for you every day.”
On a daily basis, he now gets to train with the likes of TJ Grant, Tristan Johnson and countless others which should help him come January 29th. His opponent, Chris Johnson, has been active and will be coming into this fight with some momentum. Johnson will be fighting in his backyard and in his previous Elite 1 fight, he was able to take the belt from Steve Skinner who does pack some powerful punches. However, Johnson’s last fight was a loss to Jeremy Hamilton at W-1 in Halifax in October. The W-1 fight gave Johnson some national exposure and he was holding his own for much of the the fight. While with Hachey, the ring rust could play a factor as to how he will do, however, he thinks it all goes back to the day to day combat that he gets at Fitplus as to how well he will perform. Hachey comments,
“It has been an unbelievable advantage here, my skills have improved since I got here. It’s been a big uphill sprint for my skill. I don’t peak, it’s just advancement and I am getting better every day. That was something I didn’t have before because I had to travel a lot. It was very expensive to get to a place to train. I would have to drive and hour to an hour and a half just to get an hour of training and it is hard to do that. Now where I am living in Halifax, I train every day. It is nothing for me because I only live ten minutes away. It is great to know I can train when I want and it is great to know that you will have a bunch of killers with you. It just makes you really confident.”
While any mixed martial arts fan knows that there is difference between what goes on in training and what will happen in the cage, either way Hachey will come out a winner on what he has done in his life. When he was younger, he was not a small dude. During his teen years, he was so big that he said that his highest weight ever record was 395 pounds. Over a period of time, he was able to drop at least 150 pounds when he first fought at Heavyweight. Now, he usually walks around at 220 to 215. With reading stories or talking to people who have had similar situations, there was usually a low point or embarrassing moment that got them to shed away the extra weight. With Hachey, tragic personal matters really hit home. Hachey recounts this time in his life,
“I had a few deaths in the family that were really close together. I had lost four family members in a three week span due to health problems. It just opened my eyes to the fact that I had to do something. Mixed martial arts was not in my head at the time but MMA was something that came afterwards and it helped me maintain a good fitness level.”
After losing close to 200 pounds, Hachey has already won a huge battle to be even fighting MMA – now he is training with great fighters and fighting for the Elite 1 title when he confronts Johnson in the cage. When it comes to a game plan for his brawl with Johnson, Hachey says that he will just see where the fight will go but if you look at both guy’s records, don’t blink because it will be a quick one.