CANMORE – After stirring up some excitement online, Canmore’s Travis Erlam will switch from pounding letters on his phone to pounding out another opponent this weekend.
Fighting in his second amateur mixed martial arts bout, Erlam (1-0) is scheduled for three, three-minute rounds at middleweight (185 pounds) on Saturday evening (Oct. 1) at Rumble in the Cage 63 (RITC) in Lethbridge.
He takes on hometown fighter Cal Kostiniuk (1-0).
“Once I got the contract, I signed right away without knowing who [my opponent] was,” Erlam said. “It’s kind of my style.”
Representing local club Dark Horse Martial Arts, the Canmore fighter won his amateur debut in May, taking a unanimous decision against Winnipeg’s Said Dzafic at Unified MMA 44 on Tsuut'ina First Nation. Two of the three judges scored two-out-of-three rounds for Erlam in that fight.
This time around, the hard-hitting southpaw wants an earlier night.
“Decisions suck,” said Erlam. “You’re standing there and just like, ‘oh, man, did I do enough?’ and you never know. I want a definitive win either by knockout or submission.”
And after Erlam put out a series of the “most friendly” chirping to Kostiniuk and Lethbridge on social media, he’s expecting a ruckus inside and outside of the cage Saturday.
“I might get a lot of boos this time; I’ve been kind of poking Lethbridge a little bit,” he said with a laugh.
“On my [Instagram] stories, because [Kostiniuk] doesn’t have any facial hair, and I do – I win; chest hair – I win; tattoo level – I win. … then [I've been] chirping Lethbridge a little bit, saying I’m going to have more people than you guys there."
Going into the cage under the bright lights, the local showman emphasizes entertainment. He won't be boring leading up to and during the fight.
The jests are all fun and games for the 36-year-old though and he’ll welcome a chorus of boos and any heckling with open arms.
“Whether they’re cheering you on or booing you, they’re still there giving you some energy, so I kind of like it,” said Erlam.
“Even though I’m amateur, I think I bring some eyes that wouldn’t normally be on there.”
And although he enjoys taking things lightly pre-fight, Erlam’s grappling pedigree and expanding knowledge in striking and MMA is no joke.
A black belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu, Erlam is the most dangerous grappler in the Bow Valley.
He transitioned to MMA last year; during his first bout, Erlam nearly finished his opponent after dropping him in the first round with a big right hook.
“I’m a jiu-jitsu guy who still somehow has power in his hands,” said Erlam.
Sheepdog Brewing in Canmore is hosting a watch party for the bout. Fights start at 7 p.m.
RITC 63 is available on the FITE app on pay-per-view.
In the main event, Tim Tamaki vs Josh Kwiatkowski fight for the RITC featherweight championship.