SPRINGHILL – After three years of providing mixed martial arts training here in Cumberland County, Springhill MMA is taking a seat in the bleachers while deciding its next move.
Head instructor and past Elite 1 MMA titleholder Justin Bourgeois announced Monday via the club’s Facebook page the increasing costs of housing the not-for-profit organization Springhill MMA lead to the hiatus.
“We didn't close with the intention on never opening again, we closed on a very positive note that we [want to] make sure there is longevity and sustainability plan in place next time,” Bourgeois wrote.
First opening on Main Street in the same building that houses the Laurie Lodge, Springhill MMA moved to a larger Main Street location a year later due to an increase in membership and equipment.
Balancing work, home, and the club was just one of the ongoing struggles for Bourgeois, however
“This decision didn't come easily as another issue was myself as I battled being a coach, father, boyfriend and a professional fighter and working was unbearable at times, a person should know that is too much to handle, but I figured a valient effort was needed,” Bourgeois wrote. “I poured my heart and soul into our gym, birthdays, anniversary, etc. I would be at the gym because I knew how important it was to have a fighter prepared for battle and how important the gym was to the Springhill community.”
Under the Springhill MMA banner, local athletes Brian “Zero” Johnson, Jericho MacPhee, Jarrod Fraser, Ryan Budd, Trevor Gabriel met varying degrees of success as amateurs and professionals in the sport. It’s also served as a launching point for locals Justus MacPhee and Jeremy Misken and lured such talents as UFC’s leading lightweight contender TJ Grant and international Muay Thai belt holder Josh Palmer to offer local seminars.
Bourgeois is now looking at the future of MMA training in the region, including the prospect of a future Amherst location.