Local Fighter gets chance to fight on the big stage in MMA

Caleb Ermine (left) trains ahead of his fight.--Facebook/Caleb Ermine

Sturgeon Lake’s Caleb Ermine will have his childhood dream come true when he fights in a globally televised match in December.

Ermine will fight in the Battlefield Fight League, against the champion Ozhan Yalcin, and he is excited to get the opportunity to showcase his skillset.

“I was quite excited and nervous,” Ermine said. “They’re a high level group. Their champion (Yalcin) actually just made his UFC debut a couple weeks ago. So I think that’s the precursor for something big to happen. I’m just looking forward to giving them an exciting fight, and pull off a good win.”

Ermine says his training routine has been mixed up a lot with COVID, but it’s something that he was able to work around to continue fighting.

“It was going well and then we had to get rapid tests every three days just to train,” he explained. “I decided to get vaccinated so I could keep training and not have to pay for the rapid tests all the time. On Monday’s and Wednesday’s I train in Saskatoon, and on Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday I’m with my main team at North Wake Martial Arts in Prince Albert.”

Ermine reflected on his childhood days, explaining where the dream to be a fighter originated.

“My grandfather was a boxer,” he said. “He was in the army too, so it was always my passion to compete on some type of stage, but I never thought it would be on this big of a stage.”

Ermine has a two fight contract with Battlefield Fight League (BFL). If he wins, the purse will get higher, if he loses, he will have to hope he impresses everyone to stay on board, or find another contract. Ermine says he will continue training hard in the time leading up to his first fight, noting wrestling as his main focus.

“I’m going to work on wrestling, because wrestling seems to be a big weapon used in mixed martial arts, and an effective weapon. I’m going to train as much as I can anywhere I can, and most of that will probably be in Prince Albert.”

While he got the inspiration from his grandfather to become a professional fighter, Ermine walked much of his current path solo. He had a falling out with his parents at a young age, but has rekindled that relationship.

“I’ve done this all on my own,” he said. “When I was 15, my parents didn’t let me live with them because I didn’t go to church. That kind of gave me some doubt in my life, and that’s kind of how this started for me. I created my own path, but my mom and dad are in my life again now, and I love that.”

The recent weeks have been emotional ones for Ermine. He has had to deal with the passing of five family members, and a brother is only just starting to recover from COVID-19.

“It affected him so bad that it put him in a coma,” Ermine said. “He actually just woke up yesterday, but he’s still disoriented and confused. It’s been tough for sure. But you know us men, we’ve got to deal with it.”

It’s been years of hard work and perseverance, but now Ermine, who is ranked number 28 in the Amateur Men’s Lightweight division in Canada, will finally get his chance to live his dream on December 3, fighting in the BFL.