Buckland picks a fight with cancer

JOSE RODRIGUEZ -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 10:33 AM ET

When Andrew Buckland steps into the cage Friday night, he'll be fighting more than a Brazilian powerhouse.

He'll be fighting cancer.

The 26-year-old Ontario transplant says he'll donate his purse -- nearly $1,500 if he wins his match at the Hardcore Championship Fighting event at the Corral -- to fight prostate cancer.

"My father was diagnosed last year," said the 26-year-old middleweight.

Buckland says he vividly remembers getting the call telling him his biggest fan was in the fight of his life. Jim Buckley, 58, was forced to take three months off work as he battled the deadly disease.

Friday night, with numerous operations behind him and the disease in remission, the Fergus, Ont., native will be in the stands cheering on his son.

"He loves to watch the fights," said Buckland. "He'll be the guy cheering the loudest."

Buckland, who trains out of Dynamic Martial Arts in Calgary, will have his hands full against Lucas Rota, who fights out of UFC middleweight champ Anderson Silva's gym in Brazil.

"He's got good Muay Thai, so he's more of a stand-up fighter," said Andrew. "I think my plan will be to take this down to the ground fairly quickly."

Buckland, who's undefeated in four pro scraps, says Rota will be the biggest challenge of his young career. The pair is on the undercard of Friday night's event.

Headlining the show will be Aleksander Emelianenko and Dan Bobish in a heavyweight showdown with Aleksander's brother, Pride heavyweight champ Fedor Emelianenko, cageside for the event.

Two HCF titles will also be on the line. Ariel Sexton and Thomas Schulte will square off for the lightweight belt, and Sarah Kaufman and Ginele Marquez will fight for the bantam weight title. Tickets for the event are still available through Ticketmaster.


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