It’s going to be another packed house when Jesse Boldt and Travis Gervais enter the ring Friday night.
Saskatoon’s own Boldt (3-2) will welcome Winnipeg’s Gervais (4-2) for a lightweight main event showdown at Modern FC 4 in Saskatoon, SK.
Boldt, 31, was in this same position earlier this year, headlining Modern FC 3 in a bout with Randy Mahon, which he was successful in taking home the win.
Given the hometown main event circumstances, Boldt said coming away with the victory over Mahon was a big confidence boost for him and confirmed he can handle the pressure of headlining a hometown show.
“I had a lot of doubts going into that fight with Randy, just with whether I could handle the pressure. I really put myself out there and sold a bunch of tickets, got all those sponsorships, and was really active on social media hyping up the fight,” said Boldt in an interview with MMA Empire.
“When I got my hand raised, it just really helped my confidence knowing I can handle that pressure, I can remain calm, and I can stick to the game-plan. And this is kind of the same thing.”
For Gervais, 33, it’s been over two years since his last fight, a first round submission loss to Curtis Demarce at Mercenary Combat League 1.
But despite not competing in that time, Gervais said he’s still been putting in plenty of time at the gym, and feels he’s improved in all areas during the brief layoff.
“It was two years off, but I never stopped training. I even went to Thailand to train out there for a bit,” said Gervais in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m a ten times better fighter than I was two years ago and I’m excited to get in there and showcase that.”
Boldt Mentally Sound
One area of his game Boldt felt much-improved in his win over Mahon was his mental game.
He said it was the first time he experimented with any kind of visualization and meditation, and said it really helped him once he stepped in the ring.
“That was something that really helped keep my mind in the right place,” said Boldt.
“It’s something I’d never really done before, but it felt really good and I felt great in the ring, so I’m going to make sure I do the same thing for this fight.”
For nearly two years, Boldt has been roughing it, having sold his house to experiment with living in a van, which he typically keeps parked outside his gym, Modern Martial Arts Centre.
While it can be a rough go when the temperature starts to dip below zero degrees at night, Boldt said waking up each and every day and already being at the gym is a big luxury to have during a training camp.
“It’s definitely a lot less stress on me; I’m not working a full-time job that’s out of town, rushing home to walk my dog, then rushing to the gym,” said Boldt.
“I literally just have one focus on my mind and that’s training and recovering, so it’s been extremely helpful.”
Although his last time in the cage didn’t go his way, Gervais said he picked up on a mistake he had made that he plans to correct on Friday night.
He said he was being too tentative from the get-go, and doesn’t plan on making that same error against Boldt.
“I was a little too passive. You have to kind of combine the aggressiveness with being calm in there,” said Gervais.
“You don’t want to be too aggressive and have an adrenaline dump, but you don’t want to be too passive and sit back and miss out on capitalizing on opportunities.”
So far in his career, Gervais hasn’t shied away from tough fights, taking on Demarce in just his fifth professional fight, while also having fought current UFC lightweight Kevin Lee.
In comparison to Boldt, Gervais has shared the cage with the tougher competition, which he said is a factor that could work in his favour.
“When I look back, I’ve already been in there with some top guys and there’s not really anymore emotions that can go through your head after that,” said Gervais.
“I kind of know the feeling now; this is going to be my seventh pro fight, so I know how to manage my emotions a little better than I would’ve before.”
“I’d like to thank my coaches and training partners at Modern Martial Arts Centre.” Follow Boldt on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM
“I’d like to thank my coaches at Canadian Fighting Centre, all my training partners, my strength and conditioning coach Ally Dumaua, my daughter, my girlfriend, my family, and Winnipeg for always having my back.” Follow Gervais on social media: FACEBOOK ,INSTAGRAM