After over one year out of action, Craig Shintani returns to the cage this weekend.
Known as The King of the North, Edmonton, Alta.’s Shintani (9-4) will make his first trip out to the province of Quebec to take on Maxime Poulin (5-1) at Samourai MMA 2 in a battle between two of the more experienced fighters on the Canadian circuit right now.
This will be Shintani’s first fight outside of Western Canada and he said it adds another level of excitement getting to fight in Quebec and be the road fighter.
“Quebec has a rich history of MMA and it’s finally exciting to get out there,” said Shintani in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’ve heard the city is beautiful. It’s going to be nice to visit Montreal, fighting in an exciting place, finally leaving Western Canada and I’ve always wanted to go travel. It seemed like a great opportunity and it’s going to be fun going into his backyard and seeing how the fans like somebody from Alberta coming in.”
While the perks of traveling out to Quebec are nice, this remains a business trip for Shintani, 30, who feels he has grown as a fighter and is ready to test himself against Poulin.
“He’s a well-rounded fighter, he’s a solid fighter, he’s got good pace, he’s got a solid jiu-jitsu game. It seems like in most fights he wants to take it there. His last fight was pretty quick and pretty dominant. I don’t even know if he got hit, which is always impressive to do,” said Shintani.
“But watching his fights in the past, I’ve noticed his opponents do things that I wouldn’t recommend doing in the grappling sequence or scenarios. I think, technically, I will do things differently than the opponents he’s been fighting. Not taking anything away from the guy, but I’m a different style. I’m a different matchup. My skill set is very different from what you’ve seen in the past from Maxime and his opponents will be different come Friday night.”