AMHERST – Jerico “Young Blood” MacPhee is ready to throw down at ECC 19 Showdown in Halifax this Saturday.
The 17 year-old mixed martial artist from Springhill trains out of the newly minted Cumberland Mixed Martial Arts Academy here in Amherst after an amateur career that started at the now-retired Springhill Mixed Martial Arts, and this marks his fourth fight in the past two years.
“I feel confident with the training camp I went through,” MacPhee said. “I'm mentally and physically prepared to bring nothing other than a war Saturday night.”
MacPhee transitioned to the sport with his brother, Justus, after showing a lot of promise in minor hockey. The decision to leave one sport for the other wasn’t easy, MacPhee says, but when he weighed one over the other he knew where he wanted to be.
“I had stopped playing hockey two years ago because of the impact it had on my MMA schedule, [but] after a few weeks of thinking I ended up going back,” MacPhee said. “But this time it just seems like the right thing to do at this point. I'd rather wake up every morning at the crack of dawn and train than sit in a freezing cold arena. I feel like this was meant for me.”
It’s a feeling reflected in his amateur standings, too. MacPhee’s established a 3-win, no-losses record fighting for Cage Rage promotions in Moncton. This fourth match up will see MacPhee make his Halifax debut with Extreme Cage Combat against featherweight Matt MacIntyre on the Showdown preliminary card. It will be another step in the amateur division, and MacPhee says he’s going to soak up the experience while time is on his side.
“I've had plenty of thought on going pro after this fight, but the [Nova Scotia Boxing] commission says you can't turn pro until 19.”
ECC 19 Showdown takes place Saturday at the Halifax Forum. Doors open at 6 p.m. Fights start at 7:30 p.m.
Cumberland Mixed Martial Arts is a not-for-profit organization located at 1 Princess Street in Amherst, offering men and women classes in kickboxing, jiu-jitsu, boxing and wrestling, as well as cardio and CrossFit. Class details can be found at its Facebook page.