Predator, Crow coming to Ottawa

SHANE ROSS, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 10:57 AM ET

Ottawa-area mixed martial arts fans are in for a treat Nov. 6 when two of the sport's stars come to town for the grand opening of Team Bushido MMA Fitness Centre.

Former UFC middleweight champion David "The Crow" Loiseau and Patrick "The Predator" Cote, who fights for the UFC middleweight title this weekend, will be special guests at the Gladwin Crescent studio, which has been up and running since June.

Cote, of Quebec City, has won his last five matches to improve his record to 13-4. Loiseau, of Montreal, is 18-8.

"I'm thrilled to have them," said Team Bushido owner Nabil Khatib. "This sport is very popular, but not as popular as it should be in Ottawa. MMA fighters are the best-conditioned athletes in the world."

At 75,000 square feet, Team Bushido is the largest centre of its kind in the Ottawa region.

Besides the meet and greet with Loiseau and Cote from 7-8 p.m., the Nov. 6 celebration will also feature a free jiu-jitsu class for children from 5-6 p.m.

Khatib, a former chef at the Chateau Laurier, traded the kitchen for the cage, where he is 8-3 as an MMA welterweight fighter. He scoffs at suggestions the sport is brutally dangerous.

"I used to cut myself more as a chef," said Khatib, who fights Saturday night in Calgary. "I'd rather do MMA than boxing or rugby or motorcycle racing or even a WWE wrestler.

'WE GET DAMAGED'

"We get damaged , but we get repaired. We punch and kick each other, but it goes to the ground where you try to get your opponent in a submission hold."

Sure, he's broken his nose a few times -- "but what boxer hasn't?" he asks -- and broke his arm once while blocking a kick, "but that was just bad luck."

There is no denying the sport has gone mainstream and Khatib "jumped on the bandwagon" by opening Team Bushido.

Inviting Cote and Loiseau to the party is a pretty good way to celebrate.


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