Canada’s longest-running MMA promotion is back this weekend with another card full of exciting amateur and professional matchups.
Rumble in the Cage 64 takes over the Lethbridge Exhibition Park Saturday night. On the main card, Lethbridge’s own Colton Boxell (1-4) is set to welcome Athabasca’s Josh Kitchen (5-3) back to the cage in middleweight action.
“My striking is on point and my confidence is on a whole new level. For me, it’s been relentless building, a pursuit of excellence,” Boxell said in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I feel very strongly about the striking system here and the amount of time and effort I’ve been able to put into it. The framework that the Mein’s provide is phenomenal and I think the biggest strength of CMAC is that it’s 24/7, so if you’re feeling a little down at night you can just get up and go to the gym.”
Training out of the Canadian Martial Arts Centre (CMAC), Boxell had an impressive amateur career before turning professional.
Although he’s suffered a few setbacks as a professional, it’s been a learning experience, all part of his process of limiting distractions and becoming a better fighter.
“I’ve learned not to take life outside of the cage so hard and know that the cage is going to be there and I’m always going to find my way in regardless,” Boxell explained.
“Coming off some of those fights, there was just a whole lot of BS going on. I just gotta get in there and get after it. We’ve all got 24 hours in a day and if I’m not going to do this then what else am I going to do? This is what I do. I love fighting, so I’m putting everything into it. I’ve got a lot more tactics coming into this one. I learn a new move every camp and I’m looking forward to showing off and getting a big win.”
Boxell is back at the middleweight limit of 185 pounds for his matchup this weekend. Despite competing as low as 165 pounds in a tough loss to Jett Grande back in May 2022, Boxell feels most comfortable with less of a weight cut.
“Yeah, it serves a benefit for sure being at middleweight. I didn’t notice the weight cut that much cutting to 170, but 165 was hard,” Boxell said.
“Late in the fight I just felt like I didn’t quite have the same power and explosiveness compared to the first two rounds. I was a swimmer before I started training and you can’t feed a swimmer enough calories to make them big unless something special is going on. When I left swimming and took up muay thai I started putting on muscle and I got up to the size I am now and I’ve never really looked back.”
As usual, Boxell has done his homework heading into battle this weekend. With respect for the grappling credentials of the Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt Kitchen, Boxell is excited to test and showcase his own high-level ability.
“He’s a black belt under Luke Harris. I did find one video of him. He showed a rushing style, I definitely can’t let him get on top,” Boxell said.
“If he does get on top I have to be active in my escapes and active in my movements. I need to be urgent and get out from underneath him. There’s a chance of being held down and ground and pounded, so I need to be ready for that possibility. I’m an escape artist at heart, so I love getting out of tough situations.”
Confident heading into battle, Boxell is ready for whatever approach his opponent might bring. Expecting a big performance, he’ll be looking for a highlight finish on Saturday night.
“I know he just got his black belt, but he hasn’t fought in eight years. His last fight was a boxing match that he lost by TKO in the second. I’m not a boxer, but I know my striking is on point and if he feels a hint of that fear he’s going to go chasing takedowns, and my wrestling is ready,” Boxell explained.
“I think he’s going to throw three punches and shoot for a takedown. I’ll give him the space, I’ll hit him with one and I’ll defend the takedown. I’ll make him grapple and exert his energy and then when he’s tired I’ll pick my shots and take him down in the third. I’ll finish with ground and pound or submission, whichever way he chooses for me to break him.”
“Everyone around the gym at CMAC, I love the entire team.” Follow Boxell on social media: INSTAGRAM