Pressed up against a wall of black mats, Dee Logue wrestled another man’s shoulder out of his chin. After a five-minute round another man was pressed against Logue. Then another man.The eight o’clock workout was one of the last trainings of the day. At seven Logue was in his blue Brazilian jiu jitsu belt working on body locks and perfecting the art of forcing one’s dominance on another. Earlier in the day the Woodstock First Nation member was running wind sprints and practicing yoga.
Logue (2-0) is preparing for his third professional fight for the vacant L-Jack Production Lightweight championship belt against (5-1) Adam Hazelton. L-Jack MMA 3 is scheduled for 6:30 at Fredericton’s Grant Harvey Centre on April 28.
Logue is fighting for the 155 lbs belt and weigh-ins are the day before the fight. Logue trains 30 hours a week, and mixes in two jobs. He works 32 hours as a gas attendant at the WFN Cardlock and takes a lot of pride in being a water quality tester at the Sisson Mines.
“They pay the bills,” said the 24 year old.
He makes minimum wage at the gas station, a little more as a water quality tester, which is less consistent in hours and is headlining the next L-Jack MMA card. Logue wouldn’t say how much he’d make for the fight. But another fighter in the professional circuit said a fighter can make $500 for the fight and $500 for winning. He did say it depends on the promotion amongst other factors.
Logue walked into Starbucks with a bruise under his left eye and a warm smile. He had a boxing-spar match with Elsipogtog’s Nathan Millier earlier in the week. He said New Brunswick’s professional fighters are a supportive group, but the guys he started with didn’t last.
“Not everybody was as focused or took it as seriously. So when they fought and lost, they quit,” said Logue.
Woodstock First Nation had an MMA gym and as a young man he would go. Logue said he started when he was 16 years old with friends. But when they left he was still there. One of his friends, let him know he was fighting six days before his first fight. But he took the challenge and after six amateur fights he turned pro.
Logue has a strategic plan on getting to the UFC, what some consider the pinnacle of mixed martial arts competition. He wants a few more fights before turning to the New England Fight or TKO MMA circuits. But his amateur plan of getting 10 fights was cut short because of a lack of fights.
“The hard part of about fighting here is there isn’t enough fights available,” said Logue.
He fought twice in 2017 and hopes for more opponents this year. Logue was hammered by a knee and hip injury last year.
“But I didn’t want to risk missing work because of the injury,” said Logue so he forestalled seeing a doctor.
At the Synergy gym fellow fighters were full of praise. Kent Vienneau, a dreaded competitor, said Logue “just doesn’t stop.” Vienneau is making his professional debut on the same card and was into roll in the Brazilian jiu jitsu training hour, and they both followed that with mixed martial arts training.
“He’s going to make it (to the UFC),” said Vienneau, drenched in sweat as he prepared for the next round of training.
Logue stands at 6’2 and said the Diaz brothers are fighters who share a similar style. A sound boxing background, solid chin and an aggressive submission game. He likes dominating and couldn’t quite put into words on why he loves the fight game.
His eyes light up when he explains trying different chokes and getting out of precarious positions. Logue sees training as adding to his arsenal. But the drive to reach the top is beset with challenges.
“One of the difficulties is I feel the UFC is looking for highlight knockouts. And it’s hard enough to win,” said Logue.
He’s certain he’d be a purple belt by now without the injury. Logue said he knows the technique but has test out of the blue belt. The jiu jitsu tests for proficiency of the grappling techniques and his is in a couple of months. But his next goal marker is April 28.
“When something comes naturally to you why would you walk away.”