Serhiy Sidey collides with Gerico Platon for the vacant BFL bantamweight championship at BFL 68 on September 30th. This contest broadcasts on UFC Fight Pass and emanates from Vancouver, British Columbia.
I spoke with Sidey ahead of this one and excerpts from our conversation are below.
Training people in martial arts and how that informs his own competitive skills as a fighter
“Oh 100%, man. Coaching and teaching students definitely makes me very hyper-aware of the things I’m doing. So yeah, I definitely apply that kind of strategy into my own game plan and into my own training.”
Serhiy Sidey continued, “I’ve got a couple of guys like that. A couple of students like that now. Couple of kids that won the provincial kickboxing tournament last year. It’s super cool to see, man. It’s super cool to see their progression. I’m trying to teach them all the stuff that I wish I knew when I was their age. Not even just the physical, but the mental as well. I got these kids reading books, meditating. Being mindful of their breath, a lot of things like that. Now that they’re applying it at such an early age. I’m just like, man, by the time they’re my age they’re going to be on a different level. But that’s how the game evolves.”
Being interwoven in the fabric of Burlington Training Center and BTC Fight Promotions by proxy
“The promotion is doing great, man. They really care about the fighters in the MMA community. They’re doing everything they can to put on these shows. I mean, we need them as Canadian fighters. We really need them to display our martial arts. I have so many guys that couldn’t get fights that are finally able to start getting fights because of BTC. The gym itself man, the level’s increasing so much. We have great coaches there. Paul Jalbert, Adam Assenza, me. It’s a high-level room.”
“Just watching Paul training these guys over the last few years, the level of jiu-jitsu has just increased. The strikers in the room from my boxing and kickboxing, that has increased a lot. We have Saturday sparring at the gym now and there’s a lot of amateur up and comer guys coming up. It’s cool to see the level of the room increase a lot.”
If the decisions regarding sparring partners are more oriented to specific body types or certain stylistic proclivities
“That’s a good question, both. So for example, the two things I’ve been looking for in this camp is firstly, I’m kind of getting that build of a little bit shorter but stockier. A strong, strong guy which my opponent definitely looks like he is. And then also sparring a couple of explosive strikers that like to swing. They come out hard and first. So just like my opponent again he comes out right off the gate. He’s 100% full throttle forward, right.”
“So I’m getting used to that feeling of like as soon as the bell rings, we’re on at 100% right. I’m getting a mix of both. I obviously would love one certain person to replicate all of that but it’s hard to find that. So I have got different bodies for different things. But yeah so, looking for the style. Also looking for the body type. I’ve got a lot of both of that in this camp.”
Sidey’s last bout falling short at the last minute leading into BFL 67
“The first little bit, it was kind of surreal. Because I weighed in and did my medicals. I was just kind of hanging out there. Ready to take on some media stuff. So in my brain, I’m like okay, everything’s done. There was no thought process at all that the fight could possibly be canceled at the last moment. So it was definitely a little bit frustrating at first and my emotions were a little bit mixed. Again, like once I actually was able to sit down and kind of reflect on things.”
“I just took the positives from the camp because I grew so much from the camp. I built up my grappling and my wrestling a lot. Got all that experience training for a five-round fight. I’ve never sparred hard for five rounds like that consistently in camp. So, I got all of that stuff done, made weight, felt good. I just took the lessons from that and I applied it right next to the next camp here. So everything is really dialed in.”
Being on UFC Fight Pass for this contest
“I mean my goal is to be in the UFC and do well. This is the kind of experience I was looking for. I want something big like this. A main event for UFC Fight Pass is a big opportunity. I don’t really want to be here and fight all these small shows. If I can get an opportunity like this, I’m definitely taking it. Because I want to get to the next level as fast as I can. So I’m very happy. I’m very excited to get that kind of recognition and get this kind of platform. I think it’s a great opportunity and I really want to make sure I use it to the best of my advantage.”
Past gigs landscaping and having to do some downtown Toronto hospital security
“I think about that everyday, man. I’m definitely so grateful that I get these opportunities and I get to experience them. Yeah, I’ve done landscaping. I was in the Canadian Armed Forces, I was reserve for a few years too. So I was away from the training scene. When you landscape all day, you try to train after that, it is a hard grind.”
“So I have to remind myself every day when I wake up and I’m like man, all I have to do is go teach some classes. Still be involved with my art. I can still grow by teaching because I get to be part of the sport. Then I’m training for the day. So honestly I wake up and I’m never like, oh the grind is so real. Because I’m doing exactly what I want to do. Even when I’m fully burnt out on training camp, I’m just like, man…If I had all the money in the world, this is what I would be doing.”
Parting thoughts for Serhiy Sidey
“I think we’re good, man. Yeah, I’m just very excited to show my performance, man. I haven’t fought in… I think it’s coming up to almost two years now. It’s been lockdown, man. But literally after my last fight, I’ve just been on a crazy roller-coaster of growth. Every single week, I feel like I’m getting progressively better. I’m just so excited to go and show the world. Show everybody which level I’m at. Because I’m at the gym and I know what level I’m at. And I just can’t wait to show them the leaps and bounds I’ve made since my last fight.”
I’ve been enamored with combat sports for as long as I can remember. I’ve hosted MMA talk shows Lights Out and Pure Fight Radio with featured guests like Jens Pulver, Roy Nelson, Miesha Tate, Mark Coleman, and more. I’ve been an MMA broadcaster for XFFC as well as BTC and have done play by play commentary on live pay per view on GFL as well as FITE TV. I’ve provided written, audio, and video content covering some of the biggest MMA promotions like Rumble in the Cage, Unified MMA, and King of the Cage. I’ve worked as a sports entertainment personality for over five years and given play-by-play or featured promotions of KSW, ONE Championship, TKO, and Invicta FC. My work can be found in the USA Today Sports affiliate MMA Torch, Cageside Press, MMA Sucka, and Liberty Multimedia.