Weyburn’s Sheldon LeBlanc knows fitness and muscle memory are his keys to success inside the cage. He’s been wrestling since high school and started taking MMA classes – with some kickboxing and Muay Thai thrown in – with an eye to getting in the cage one day.
The first time he fought however, LeBlanc admits he was so nervous and worked up, he literally forgot to even throw a punch. He went straight to his grappling roots, and was able to secure a keylock in only a minute, and walked away unscathed with his first victory.
His second fight was a different story. LeBlanc’s opponent was able to tire him out and secure a rear naked choke to deliver his first loss. Sheldon realized that once his body was depleted, he wasn’t able to mentally focus enough to intelligently defend himself. He vowed that would never happen again, and busts his butt in crossfit daily to ensure it never will.
At 36 years of age, LeBlanc has no illusions about making it to the UFC. He also knows his fighting career will be over the minute he brings himself home to his wife and 5 kids battered – she’s told him as much and LeBlanc uses that as further motivation to win cleanly. He seen his opponent Derek Gatz fight before, and while he respects him, he thinks Gatz is prone to go to the ground and if that happens, it will be a bad night for him. LeBlanc believes he’ll be able to end up on top – and end the fight from there.