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Amherst kickboxer knocks out opponent in first fight

Dave Chapman strikes a pose at Cumberland Mixed Martial Arts in Amherst. Chapman recently fought on his first kickboxing match.
Dave Chapman strikes a pose at Cumberland Mixed Martial Arts in Amherst. Chapman recently fought on his first kickboxing match. - Dave Mathieson

AMHERST, N.S. – Dave Chapman’s first kickboxing match ended well for him.

“It was near the end of the second round, at 2:54, that I knocked him out,” said Chapman, who is from Amherst.

Chapman competed on Nova Kickboxing’s ‘All In’ kickboxing card at Casino Nova Scotia on March 9, finishing Dylan Benjamin in the 150-pound weight class.

Chapman says that he was so dialed in at the end of the second round that he didn’t hear the 10-second warning that comes before the end of each round.

“I was hitting him and I saw his head moving around, and I ran him down with punches,” said the 21-year-old.

Chapman was elated with the win.

“I did a victory yell after the referee stepped in between us,” said Chapman. “I turned towards my corner guys and let out a primal yell.”

Chapman trains at Cumberland Mixed Martial Arts (CMMA) in Amherst, and went into the fight with a game plan.

“Researching the gym Dylan came from, they’re mostly tae-kwon-do, karate style fighters, and one of my other teammates said I should go after his front leg because he’s going to be heavy on his front leg,” said Chapman. “I hit his front leg most of the time during the first round but after that I started to settle in. I found my range and started to pick him apart with punches.”

Chapman did receive some damage, mostly to his legs.

“My legs were bruised up a few days afterwards and there’s still a little bit of bruising left.”

He wasn’t too nervous for his first fight.

“When they were wrapping my hands, I was feeling the moment and thinking, ‘Ok, so this is what it feels like,’” said Chapman.

The opening music he walked into the ring to was Ghost of Tom Joad by Rage Against the Machine.

“As soon as opening chord to my music hit I just kind of numbed over and did what I had to do.”

Chapman started training at CMMA about five years ago under coach Justin Bourgeois, and says he’s more committed than ever.

“Everything has started to come together over the past year. I’m hitting things that I was never able to hit before,” he said.

Chapman lives close to CMMA, which just two doors up from Amherst Stadium, and he trains about nine hours a week.

“Living close by makes it convenient for me,” said Chapman.

His second fight could be in a few months.

“The promoters, Nova Kickboxing, are looking to put me on another card in June against Chris Casey.”

He’s looking forward to a second fight.

“It wasn’t so bad the first time, so I think I’ll have fun at the next one,” said Chapman. “It’s not so much about the winning and losing, it’s about the experience.”

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