With Fire Relit, Josh Machan Looks to Establish Himself at WSOF Canada

Josh Machan submits Nick Heynen by Heel Hook in Round 1, 1:48.

(photo: Jason Bouwmeester)

Combat sports fans have become accustomed to the health care options available to elite level fighters. When Antonio Rodrigo Nogueira broke his arm in Toronto at UFC 140, he was able to board a private jet and get surgery outside of Canada the next day.

It’s easy to forget that there are many fighters who are not afforded the same luxuries. Take for example, Josh Machan. Scheduled to make his World Series of Fighting (WSOF) debut last December, Machan broke his thumb throwing a punch just days before what would have been the biggest fight of his career.

Because of his full-time job as an operator at a chemical plant, he could not wear a cast which slowed his recovery. Nearly three months later with his hand fully healed, Machan will make his highly-anticipated WSOF debut against Adam Lorenz this weekend.

His schedule is one few would envy and is far more reminiscent of an everyday father and husband than an elite level professional athlete. His job requires him to work five straight twelve hour days, followed by five days off. His work day consists of him waking at 4:30 a.m. in the morning, being at work for 5:15 a.m. and finishing his day at 5:30 p.m. From there it is home for a quick dinner with the family and then to a training session. It’s not the kind of schedule that lends itself to putting in a full training camp.

“It’s hard,” laughed Machan. “I definitely don’t get to train as much as a lot of other people do. It’s just a lot of late-nights and early mornings.”

It’s no wonder his cardio has never been an issue. It’s also no wonder that after a hard-fought loss to Mitch Clarke in 2010, he stepped away from the sport. His schedule is one that can easily lead to burn out, both in the gym and life. Knowing when to step away from the sport he loved and take care of his growing family (he has a daughter, and another on the way), takes a maturity well beyond his 27 years.

“I was just tired of being a broke fighter,” he quipped. “I went back to the oil fields and made some money. I had a wedding and needed money.”

Machan portrays the type of brutal honesty you would expect from a rugged Alberta boy. He’s not afraid to say that with his schedule and family life, he will never be in as good of physical shape as he was in 2010 or that he has a contingency plan in place if the UFC dream never comes to fruition.

“I did my power engineering course, that is my escape plan,” he explained. “I have a good job now. If I don’t make the UFC, I have a great job and everything so it’s not a big deal.”

(photo: Jason Bouwmeester)

(photo: Jason Bouwmeester)

Having gone 11-1 in his last twelve bouts, with his last four wins all by first round submission, Machan is finally in a good place. Although his routine may not be ideal, it’s a routine nonetheless. He’s one of the top ranked Featherweights in Canada and, despite currently only having a one-fight deal with WSOF Canada, will likely put himself in the promotion’s Featherweight championship discussion in the coming months.

“Mentally, I’m just getting better and better with every fight,” said Machan. “That’s the biggest thing. I lost my first three fights and I was just so mentally unprepared for it. Every fight, I get better and better. Right now, I’m just getting so much more headstrong every fight.”

Although he is careful not to get too confident, Machan has a clear style advantage in this bout. His submission game is amongst the best in the division, and he’s facing an opponent who has struggled with quality grapplers in the past. Overlooking his opponent is not something Machan is afraid of.

“I definitely would never overlook Adam (Lorenz),” Machan said. “In his 10 fights, he has probably fought some of the toughest guys in Canada. That’s why I wanted to fight Adam. If I can’t beat guys that are this good outside of the UFC, there’s no point in going to the UFC.”

With his passion reignited and the biggest stage of his career only days away, Machan will have the opportunity to establish himself as one of Canada’s elite. Getting to fight on the main card of WSOF Canada is an honor he does not take lightly.

“The fire was relit, just being away from the sport,” Machan said confidently. “I watched my training partners do so well. When you get back to the gym and get destroyed, it relit the fire. It helped me know that I have to get back in there.”

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