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Lloydminster grown fighter wins MMA championship

A St. Albert fighter with Lloydmister ties is celebrating after his biggest mixed martial arts win in Edmonton over the weekend. 

Graham Park won Unified’s light heavyweight championship at their 10th Anniversary show in Edmonton on September 30. Park beat his opponent Sheldon Doll in the co-main event after referee stoppage in the first round.

“It was a good performance. My opponent was the toughest guy I fought to date for sure which should be the case for a championship fight,” says Park. “I just wanted to put in a performance that would make my teammates, coaches, friends and family proud. Win, lose or draw, I was going to put in my best performance that I possibly could.”

The 30-year-old was born in Newfoundland but moved to Lloydminster in 2001. He attended Bishop Lloyd Middle School and graduated from Comprehensive High School. He then joined the military and eventually found a home in St. Albert where his professional MMA career started.

The light heavyweight championship was vacated by Teddy Ash, a friend of Park, as he tried out for Dana White’s Contender series. The match was the first time Park has been the co-main event on a combat sports show.

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“It was a lot of pressure and something that I hadn’t experienced before being a high-level feature but it’s something I’m going to have to get used to now that I’m the champion.”

He says for the first time he wasn’t able to see the fights earlier in the evening and had to watch the entire show afterwards.

With the fight over, Park is back at work as a firefighter in Edmonton and helping his teammates at Little Sweatshop in Sherwood Park. He says he will be taking a short break but it won’t last long as he will be training with Tanner Boser to help him get ready for his UFC fight against Daniel Spitz on October 18.

Park isn’t sure when his next match will be but expects the earliest date to defend the championship to be in December.

“I’m of the opinion that you’re not a true champion until you at least defend it. Hopefully, with another couple of high profile wins and high profile opponents, I can work my way up to the big show.”

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