Chris Ade is probably one of the only guys in Edmonton who's been beaten bloody inside a cage and liked it. Well, sort of.
"Um, enjoyable," is how he sheepishly describes it.
"If you've been in this sport long enough, you pay some dues. Everybody who's good has paid some dues. I've payed a lot of dues," laughs the 23-year-old, who earned his mixed martial arts fighting nickname "The Crippler" when he dislocated an opponent's shoulder.
As long as he's still in one piece by then, Ade will be on the roster when King of the Cage makes its Canadian debut April 16 at the Northlands AgriCom.
With 10 years of training under his belt - he started wrestling at 13, then went on to kick-boxing and ju-jitsu before cage fights - Ade knows what stitches feel like. Bruises, too. And broken fingers.
"I'm not going to predict a win, but I think I'll do well because I've been training a long time," he says.
Ade is slated to take on a Calgary fighter nicknamed "Chad the Head" in a 7.5-metre octagonal ring surrounded by a 2.4-metre-high fence at the all-ages show.
Though some people frown on the bloody sport for its no-holds-barred approach, there are a few "gentlemen's" rules against dirty moves like biting and eye-gouging, Ade said.
He won 10 of the 20 cage matches he's fought in a practice ring in B.C. so far - and his opponent never got a chance to hit him in six of them, Ade says. His last match drew about 1,300 people.
"It's pretty exciting. It's liberating, I guess. The fans get pretty excited."
Mixed martial arts fighting is sanctioned by the Edmonton Boxing and Wrestling Commission. Ken Kupsch, one of two local businessmen bringing King of the Cage to Edmonton, said he expects the show will sell out over the next two weeks.