Staying on Point: Savoie Defends his Title Against LeBlanc at Elite 1


After accomplishing a dream by winning the Elite 1 Middleweight title back last July in his hometown of Saint John, Christien Savoie has been waiting for the opportunity to defend it and prove that he is one of the top Middleweights in Canada. Savoie will get his first chance as he will face Julien Leblanc this Saturday at Elite 1 in Moncton at Casino, New Brunswick. With the fight coming this weekend, Savoie can’t help but feel the excitement pumping through his veins.

“It’s a great fight, it has been talked about as one of the biggest prospect fights in Canada right now,” says Savoie.  “I don’t want to give away all my secrets, but I don’t expect an easy fight, I know he is game. I have seen in some of his fights, he is getting beat up and then he comes back and wins. I need to stay very focused in this fight at every moment. I don’t think there is a secret that he is a long guy and I am more of a short stocky guy for the weight class. I don’t think he is going to try and fight me in the pocket and he doesn’t expect me to stay on the outside and jab him. He is also a southpaw, and this will be the first time I fought one and I am just excited for the challenge.”

He will face LeBlanc who will easily be his toughest challenge to date as LeBlanc has ended all his fights before the third round in his pro career. On paper both fighters are a mirror image of each other as both are 25 and are coming into the fight with identical records of 5-0. LeBlanc comes into the match after scoring a 37 second knockout over Drayton Angus at Wreck MMA in November.  After the fight, Leblanc even called out Savoie in an interview with Capital Combat Parley. You wonder if there is some bad blood between the two?

“Not that I am aware of, but I think the video was just a way to hype up the fight, “says Savoie. “In reality I asked for this fight first and before he did that call out we were pretty much set to fight. We were just waiting for that fight to end so we could get the contract signed. I think that was more of a hype video just to get the fight going. From what I seen in interviews he seems like a pretty solid guy and I got nothing but respect for him.”

Both fighters come into this match with a lot of hype behind them right now. Savoie comes in after dominating Kris Lee in July in which he gave up the size advantage when Lee came in six pounds overweight for the fight. Since then, Savoie has had some opportunities to further his career when he was offered a fight against UFC veteran Joe Riggs back in August for Z promotions and was even offered a short notice fight for the UFC card in Winnipeg in December on 17 days notice but decided not to take either one. While most fighters would jump at the chance to add a veteran like Riggs on the win column or the chance to fight for the UFC at a young age, Savoie wants to be careful with his career and not burn out early.

“I have always been very wise on how I approach the sport because I am aware of things like brain damage and that is something I don’t want to take apart in,” says Savoie.  “Obviously there is a risk in every fight, I just want to know psychology that I was the most prepared as possible. I know I could beat Joe Riggs on a full fight camp but why take that risk right now. In this sport you have to take calculated risks. Its not to say that I won’t take a short notice fight but I believe in my preparation. I am only 25 years old and still a couple of years away from my prime and I am in no rush. I think too many guys make the mistake and rush to get to the UFC too early and they end up having a short career where they win one, lose one. I want to be at my prime and at my best and I want to tear shit up”

While his first love is fighting, probably his second love would be for his hometown of Saint John, New Brunswick. While it is one of the largest cities in the province, he still describes it as a small town in that most people know who everyone else is. While he is hoping to put the town on the map with his fighting skills, he also wants the chance to help other people in the city to tell their stories and get them some exposure which is why he started his own pod cast Port City Perspectives back in January. While the show is in hiatus since he started training camp, this has been a thought of his for the last couple of years – things just sort of lucked out and getting it off the ground.

“Everything just kind of fell into place, it was something I was always interested in the last couple of years,” says Savoie. “It is a good side hobby for me because I get too much into this shit sometimes and I need something to get away. I had a sponsor at the time Mat Melanson (Glove Drop) and he had an extra set of everything that is needed, and he just gave it to me and we just took it off from there. I find that people don’t get enough exposure from the city, the people doing things per say like young athletics and part of my goal is to give people shout outs and more recognition for people that deserve it “

While it has been become a fun project for Savoie, he knows he has a bigger project ahead of him this Saturday. Either way I think he will have a good opening segment for his next episode.

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