Justin Donally of Fivestar Athletics said Clarke is not just elite in the country, but is on the verge of breaking into the top ten in his class in the world and as such bringing him to Fort St. John provides a great opportunity for members of gym.
“Mitch Clarke, he’s the number one ranked lightweight fighter in Canada and he’s a four time UFC vet. It’s really important for us to bring in guys like him to keep our fighters evolving,” he explained. “We’ve got half a dozen guys here that have had titles and are fighting the best guys in the country. They only get so much good training here so we’re always reaching out to bring up guys like Mitch.”
He added it’s not just about being good at your craft while fighting, but more importantly about being a good teacher and that’s what Clarke brings in his lessons.
“Having Mitch up is great. He’s a really nice guy and a phenomenal coach, not just a good fighter,” he said. “He’s working with the kids, with the fighters, with the jiu-jitsu guys; just a little bit of everything. Guys were travelling from Prince George, and Grande Prairie, and Dawson Creek so that says a lot. It’s good for the club, it’s good for everybody.”
For Clarke the opportunity to come to Fort St. John was initially created by Fivestar member Jared McComb, and he hopes to make a significant impact on MMA in the community.
“I came up a couple of months ago and they wanted to see how I taught. I’ve got to attribute this more to Jared McComb; he’s said a lot of good things about me to Justin,” he stated. “I have a well rounded game with specifics on grappling and especially wrestling, and catch wrestling. They brought me out and people seemed to like what I was doing. We’re just looking to build up this MMA program as much as we can.”
Clarke confessed that he wasn’t sure how it would be working with children, but said those that attend Fivestar have been trained very well and it changed his outlook on working with them.
“It was cool for me to see what a different perspective is in terms of how you can run a kids class and make it not dodge ball for a half hour. These kids are here to learn how to kickbox and how to defend themselves. These kids are smart and I had a good time.”
It’s anticipated that Clarke will be joining Fivestar every other month for various seminars to develop the fight team.