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Professional or bust

Miles Anstead hopes to move away from amateur bouts

Ed Kapp
Sports Writer

Several things separate the amateurs from the pros in mixed martial arts. Arguably, the most significant deviation between the two is that professional mixed martial artists are compensated financially for their performance, whereas amateurs are not. But there are practical differences, too. Certain moves are legal in professional fighting that aren’t permitted in amateur competition, for example. And there are three rounds of fighting in professional matches where there are generally only two rounds in amateur bouts.

After four amateur matches – including a pair in the Queen City – Regina MMA fighter Miles Anstead feels that he is ready to take the next step in the world of mixed martial arts.

“I definitely want my next fight to be a pro fight,” Anstead explained. “I’ve been training really hard; I’ve been working on my stand-up a lot, wrestling, lots of jiu-jitsu. I’m trying to perfect a few things and, once I’m done school at the end of April, I’m going to find a match and make my debut.”

According to Anstead, who trains at both Complete Martial Arts and Fitness and SIAM Kickboxing, embarking on a professional career in mixed martial arts has been a long-time coming.

“I think I’ve been ready for a while, I just needed to shake a few cobwebs off and get used to the nerves,” said Anstead, who has trained at some of the sport’s top academies in Brazil and North America.

“I think my grappling – before I even fought – was at a pro level. I just needed to get my hands up to par and get some more confidence.”

Following a handful of matches – although his two most recent outings have amounted to little more than a few minutes of actual in-ring experience – Anstead insisted he is ready to make the jump to the professional ranks.

Although Anstead has only competed as an amateur in the past, he emphasized he has approached his career as just that – a career – for quite some time now.

“I might switch a few things up, but I’ve been taking it very seriously,” Anstead said. “I know that I train harder than most pros as it is. We train hard; when it comes to my training, I don’t screw around. I’m there every night, I eat well, I don’t party – I don’t think too much will change.

“I have some natural talent, but the reason that I win fights is because I’m a workhorse. I put the time in and putting the time in is what wins fights.”

Despite the fact that Anstead insisted he won’t be too picky about where he makes his highly-anticipated professional debut, the AJ Scales-trained purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu nevertheless has lofty ambitions for the professional ranks of the sport.

“As long as it’s pro and sanctioned, I’m all there,” he offered.

“This is going to be a big year, I want to get a few fights in this year. I want to get my name out there. I feel I’ve got a pretty bright future. I’ve still got a lot of time – I’m only 24 – these days guys fight ’til they’re 36, 37 … I want to hold a pro belt, for sure, in the future.”

According to Scales, who has been training Anstead for the past several years, Anstead’s ambitions are well within his star pupil’s reach.

“Miles is a growing mixed martial artist; he has a lot of potential,” explained Scales, the proud owner of both a black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu and undefeated record as a mixed martial artist. “He’s doing everything that he needs to do to be successful and I see nothing but success in his future.”

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