Rise of the Boogeyman

JONATHAN HUNTINGTON -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 9:46 AM ET

Adam Braidwood wants to make something very clear: he isn't going to throw his football career in the trash can.

Although he has signed a contract with Pro Camp Sports Management - essentially allowing Mark Pavelich to be his mixed-martial arts fighting agent - the Edmonton Eskimos' promising defensive end isn't going to let football fall apart.

"Football is the main priority," said the 23-year-old sophomore Eskimo.

"If I feel football is suffering, the sacrifice would be MMA."

By signing the managerial contract with Pavelich, Braidwood has made it clear he wants to continue his fighting career.

Known as the Boogeyman in the ring, he's 1-0 after pounding Ryan Jimmo in the off-season.

But the former first-overall CFL draft pick is locked into a deal with the Eskimos until the end of 2009.

That contract also ensures Braidwood will make much more money playing football than fighting twice or three times a year in the off-season, which is the plan.

The Sun has learned that Braidwood's Eskimo contract is worth about $100,000 a year. In the MMA world, he's likely going to earn about $5,000 a fight - or slightly higher - over the next two years.

Once Braidwood's football contract is up, the situation becomes a little cloudier.

"I will re-evaluate myself when my contract is up (in 2009)," he said.

"If I continue to play well and I am offered another lucrative contract (in the CFL), like I was this year, I would probably continue to play."

At the moment, the Eskimo brass is allowing Braidwood to continue down the fighting path in the off-season. His next fight could be late fall or early-to-mid winter 2008.

"There is so much out there as far as surfboarding and riding motorcycles - and jumping into a ring and fighting people," said Edmonton head coach Danny Maciocia.

"It is all fine and dandy because none of those (CFL) contracts are guaranteed.

"They know what they are dealing with. They are all adults. If that is what he chooses to do, so be it.

"Clearly we are all hoping nothing happens to him when he does step in the ring."

Braidwood also has the support of his teammates to keep fighting. QB Ricky Ray - who tried surfboarding once two years ago - stands by him.

"He is his own person," said Ray. "He is definitely one of our top guys. We want to see him out there (on the field), so we don't want to see anything bad happen to him.

"But it (fighting) is something he enjoys doing and I guess you have to let him do it."

Added O-lineman Kevin Lefsrud: "You can get injured doing anything. You can get injured walking across the street.

"It's something that he loves. It's something that he is good at. I would never discourage anybody from ever doing something they enjoy."

Braidwood is hoping to do specialized MMA training twice a week during the football season.

And you can bet that every time he walks into the gym, Pavelich will continue to drool over his latest student.

"Adam showed immediately in his first fight that he could become a major superstar in the heavyweight ranks in a very short period of time," said Pavelich, who owns Pro Camp and MFC.

"When Adam is able to put all of his time and attention into MMA, there is no doubt that he will get into the world title picture in the blink of an eye - he is that good."

Pavelich currently handles UFC fighter Jason MacDonald.


Videos

Photos