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Maxime Soucy Survived The Trials

Battlefield Fight League Interim Featherweight Champ Details Winding Road To Standing As One Of Canada’s Top Ascending Talents

Last June, a couple days after claiming the Battlefield Fight League interim featherweight title, Maxime Soucy posted a picture of himself to his Instagram.

Standing on one of the many local Vancouver beaches in his fight shorts, with the souvenirs from his fight with Nic Ouellet still fresh on his face and the title slung over his shoulder, the caption read, in part, “If you know me you know where I'm from. Trials after trials, life wanted to test my limits. However, like in combat, I always end up getting back up and dictating what's next.”

Poised to return to the BFL cage this week in a clash with Radley Da Silva for the undisputed featherweight title, Soucy detailed some of those different trials when we spoke late last week.

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“I lost two of my brothers and one of my sisters, so getting through that at a very young age, that makes the whole difference for me,” explained the 29-year-old from Rimouski, Quebec, who carries a 5-1 record into Thursday’s clash at the Vancouver Harbour Events Centre. “One of my brothers, I never met him. The second one died when I was six years old, in a car crash, and my sister passed away when I was 22.

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“That for me was…” he continued, pausing as he searched for the words. “I was always training and doing stuff, but when my sister passed away — she was 30 years old, she had brain cancer, and she just passed away real fast — there was a click in my mind like, ‘I may die tomorrow; I don’t know how long I’m going to stay here, so f*** it!’

“I dropped everything and went into a very dark and deep process into martial arts like, ‘No matter what, I’m going to do it.’”

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But it hasn’t just been the devastating loss to siblings that has created twists and turns in the Tristar Gym representative’s road to regional success and positioning as one of the top ascending talents on the Canadian scene.

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“I had knee surgery, I broke my sternum, I broke my orbital in my last amateur fight, I dislocated my knee three times; so many ups and downs and I thought so many times, ‘should I quit or not?’” Added Soucy, who has gone 3-0 under the BFL banner and won five straight fights overall. “There was twice in my career where it was ‘f*** it — I can’t take it anymore; it’s too hard.’”

He laughed and shook his head at the recollection, knowing what quickly followed.

One of those periods where he questioned whether he wanted to continue in the sport came in the fall of 2019.

He’d made the decision to go to university and pursue a degree in finance but hadn’t quite committed all the way. On the first day of classes, he hit the gym in the morning, still torn about packing things in for good, and wrecked his knee to the point that he required surgery. A cancellation allowed him to bump his appointment to go under the knife ahead a few weeks, and he had the procedure just before the end of the year.

Had he waited any longer, the unknown virus that was beginning to spread and eventually became the COVID-19 pandemic would have scuttled his surgery and left him on the sidelines with a jacked-up knee.

Ironically, the way it all played out — the knee injury, committing to school, COVID — aligned well for Soucy, who was able to do his rehab and school when everything was shut down, with the forced time away rekindling his desire to compete.

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When the restrictions began lifting, the opportunity to compete in one of Canada’s premier organizations looked like the perfect way to showcase his skills.

“I heard of it a little bit because I know the game in Canada, but when I started looking at them, I was like, ‘Okay, that’s a huge promotion,’” Soucy said when asked about his coming to fight for the Vancouver-based outfit. “I didn’t know how big it was back then, but I was like, ‘That’s a perfect opportunity for me to go there,’ especially during COVID.

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“The first time I fought there was in 2021, December 2021 — I couldn’t get any fights in Quebec, there were no promotions, and it was tough to go to the U.S. or anywhere else, so getting to BFL, the biggest promotion in Canada, I was like, ‘I can fight and it’s a very good opportunity for people to see me, to climb the ladder and get better.’

“We went to BFL, and the rest is history.”

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Decision wins over Makinde Adeyemi and Josh Kwiatkowski showed the French-Canadian featherweight was a contender, and with reigning champ Mateo Vogel focusing on his appearance on Dana White’s Contender Series, the promotion pitted Soucy against Ouellet in a clash for the interim title.

The first round couldn’t have gone worse for Soucy, as he spent the vast majority of the frame getting out-grappled by the British Columbia native. But it was largely what he and his team expected, and late in the second, with Oullet fading, Soucy buried a left kick into his midsection that folded him over and ended the fight.

“That’s the best thing that could happen,” he said of the daunting first round with Oullet and tough stylistic matchups before that. “I’m not here to get the easy fights. I don’t want any shortcuts to go to the UFC; I don’t want that.

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“If I end up in the UFC, it’s because I smashed everybody before and there is no more competition. I won’t try to find the best way to get there and get smashed over there, come back, and cry. If I don’t go because there are better fighters, and they should go? Fine, I don’t deserve to go there; I’m totally fine with that, but I’m going to do everything I can to get there.”

The next step in that journey comes on Thursday when he steps in with Da Silva, a local competitor that has flashed promise, but been limited to just two fights since debuting with a pair of bouts in 2013. Last time out, “Snake Eyes” competed up a division, earning a unanimous decision win over Mike McAloon.

Preparing for an opponent with such a limited amount of tape to study and large gaps between appearances could be a challenge, but Soucy isn’t concerned because he doesn’t really prepare for the person that will stand across from him on fight night.

"I don’t think about what he’s doing; I think about the progression I need to do,” he said when asked about how he prepares. “I look at the fight (from a perspective of) if I was fighting me, what would I do to beat me? If I base it on that, I’m always going to get better and patching the holes in my game.

“After that, if I cannot beat myself, you won’t beat me, so I’m very comfortable with that.”

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