Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Nathan Williamsen Fights For His Community And For The Love Of The Game At "AFC II"

After a short drive inland from the tiny coastal hamlet of Bella Coola, British Columbia, you'll arrive at the even smaller community of Hagensborg, B.C. Once there, you'll find an enormous mixed martial artist with an even bigger heart. Nathan Williamsen (0-0) checks in at 6'5"/265lbs., personally runs a local youth group, and will make his MMA debut at Armageddon Fighting Championships II in Collwood this Saturday night against local football hero, and CFL player, Justin Shaw (0-0).

Williamsen is a longtime student of judo, as well as other disciplines including karate and tae kwon do. Though, in a charmingly self-deprecating way, he claims "I wouldn't say I'm any good at any of them." That's probably not quite true, but, in any case, Williamsen has recently used his years of experience and love for the sport as the inspiration for a budding MMA community group that seeks to give local youths an outlet for their aggression. "It's been fairly successful," says Williamsen, "I've got four youth who are really gung-ho to compete. They didn't get a chance this time, but they're going to come out with me and see how things are done."

One thing Williamsen did not count on is that he would be facing a quasi-celebrity in Justin Shaw who grew up in Victoria, had a successful career with the Victoria Rebels football club and currently plays for the Winnipeg Blue Bombers. Regarding learning the news, Williamsen said "I didn't realize [who Shaw was] at first. We're a little bit behind the times here in Bella Coola. When we looked him up I said, 'Whoa, That's a big boy...but I'm pretty stoked about it."

Regardless of Shaw's impressive conditioning, Williamsen feels he can be very competitive based both on his size advantage, Shaw is a couple inches shorter and about thirty pounds lighter, and his superior martial arts experience. On his strategy, Williamsen said "I'm hoping it will go right to the ground. I'll box if he wants to box and I'll kick if he wants to kick, but I'm feeling fairly confident if it goes to the ground."

Either way, however, Williamsen will certainly be proud to represent his community, "This fight will tell me where I'm at. If I win, that's great, and if not, I'm not too worried about it. I'm looking forward to it and I'm excited, but I'm also hoping that, after this fight, Bella Coola will start to get noticed a bit more so other promotions will contact us."

Tickets for AFC II are still available at Juan de Fuca Rec Centre, Island MMA, Sports Traders, Platinum Lounge in Mayfair Mall, Full Metal Jacket Racing in Duncan, online at, or by calling (250) 478-8384.

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