Preparing for the Title – The Spark Presents:
A Conversation With Curtis DeMarce
Brandon’s Curtis “The Demon” Demarce officially announced his next title fight just last week. He’ll be going up against Achilles Estremadura for the BFL World Lightweight Title. Fight fans can catch it on UFC Fight Pass Saturday, March 19th.
It’s Champion Vs Champion, toe to toe and Curtis can’t wait to get back into the ring doing what he loves most, competing in the sport of mixed martial arts. The scrappy Brandonite is also known as “The Comeback Kid” will be looking to do just that as he’s hoping to snap a two-loss streak. The most recent of which was witnessed here in Brandon in front of his hometown fans.
The Spark managed to track him down for a conversation just before he prepares to head out west and really get serious with training camp.
The following is most of what transpired during that conversation.
Spark News: When was your last fight?
CD: My last fight was November 2019 at Fight For The Troops.
Spark News: What have you been doing since that fight?
CD: Been isolating a lot obviously with COVID, been doing a lot of rehab on old injuries and just been working fundamentals of technique of what I needed to work on. There are some areas that I really need to work at and put a stamp on so I just feel more comfortable at doing in the ring. So yeah, just working on my weaknesses and enjoying the COVID life.
Spark News: The last time most Brandon fight fans saw you in action was the Fight for the Troops. Your bout was the main event. The result in the ring wasn’t what you wanted but there were many positives of the event. What was your best take away from that event?
CD: I think just how everything went smoothly with the event. I think well the event went. The production was well-received, just the overall night I think everyone in attendance had a good time. There were no fights in the crowd which was a bonus. I think the bouts on the card were really well matched and everyone came to fight and it was just an overall great event.
Spark News: You mentioned you’ve been training, working on your weaknesses and rehabbing all at the same time. How many hours a day are you putting in with that?
CD: Things were so unpredictable in 2020 with the lockdowns, I was spending a lot more time on my physical fitness just running, staying in shape doing a lot of cardio, and a lot of high endurance conditioning and drilling technique. I wasn’t doing much sparring or live-work due to tot the fact of taking a break and there were no events really happening in North America other than UFC. But, I’d say about 2 hours a day of training and then the rest of the day I was just kind of enjoying my time off. That will pick up now that I’m in training camp.
Spark News: Describe a typical day at training camp from start to finish.
CD: Getting up in the morning doing my strength and conditioning first thing in the morning getting it out of the way. When I’m in Brandon I do R & T, so I treat clients, and then at lunchtime, I do a pad or bag session for about an hour just to get a sweat going and get that blood moving and then throughout the day if I have clients great if not I usually have my last training session around 4:30 or 5 pm until about 7 pm and then I do a lot of my meal prepping at night. But now that I’m going to be moving into training camp full time we’re going to be looking at three or four-session a day and when I’m not training I’m going to be doing a lot of rest and recovery and eating. When I’m not training just make sure everything is dialed in properly.
Spark News: So you’re mixing in your personal training with helping other people train?
CD: Yes, I work with a few guys in town here that are boxers that fight locally but haven’t in awhile.
Spark News: So is the next stage of training here in Brandon or elsewhere.
CD: I’ll be heading out to training camp in Calgary where I’ll be isolated and in full training camp and it’s good it’s a higher altitude out there so it’s better for the lungs and better for nature and just to find, aaaah just to find myself spiritually again. Through this COVID situation it’s been tough with gyms being in code red it’s just been tougher. So I think it’s going to be good to be away from home and be isolated fully in the training camp where I have nothing else to focus on but my fight.
Spark News: How have you handled the new regulations that came with the pandemic? Not just with your regular routine but personally, without getting too heavy.
CD: For sure, I think everybody has their opinion. Ultimately I think everybody has to adapt to the current situation. Obviously, it’s taken a toll on some people’s mental health, a lot of physical health. Being an athlete I’ve always believed that being physically active not only helps with your mental health, physical health, and spiritual health. I think that’s the biggest pull for me it’s just the downer of the things that are essential need to be open. Like I said, in this situation, we need to adapt, The best thing for me right now is being isolated in a camp where I have nothing else to think of other than walking into some other man’s turf and stealing his gold.
Spark News: When was the last time you fought outside of Canada?
CD: 2014 and that was in San Diego.
Spark News: What was the outcome of that?
CD: It was a win. 2 minute TKO.
Spark News: How many times have you fought outside your home country?
CD: 5 bouts in total outside of Canada.
Spark News: Just for the record, how many total fights have you been in that dictate your overall record as a pro fighter?
CD: Professionally I’ve had 37 bouts and as an amateur and with boxing I’ve had about 32.
Spark News: Can you remember the first time you ever jumped in the ring for a pro card?
CD: Yeah! It was near the end of 2006. Sean Sherk (The Muscle Shark). At that time he was the lightweight champion of the UFC. I was 17 years old technically not legally old enough to fight but I was just turning 18 that month. I ended up fighting Sean Sherk’s wrestling coach who was an NCAA Division 1 All-American. He was 136 wins with one loss in his wrestling career. He was 34-years-old and like I said I was just turning 18, he was 2 & 0 in MMA. The fight was in a bar in North Dakota. Right before our fight, there was an event called midget mixed martial arts, so there were midgets… and uh, little people as you should say, and it was in a little ring in a bar and the people around it were throwing nuts and beer and they were getting drunk and they were placing bids. I didn’t know what I was getting into and uh, so that was finished and the event started, I was the second fight on the card.
Spark News: How did you make out?
CD: I ended up getting TKO’s but I did quite well but I ended up getting TKO’d 4 minutes and 30 seconds into the first round. Not really going in knowing what to expect, I was just a kid that wanted to compete coming out of hockey (Demarce played with the AA Brandon Wheat Kings in Junior). It was hilarious because at the end of that night Forrest Griffen who I looked up to he was one of the first people to be on The Ultimate Fighter, later on, he actually was the main event and he knocked his opponent out and the guy fell onto the bottom rope but it wasn’t roped it was a chain. He caught his leg on it and it snapped. Back then it was almost like the fight club. It was very few rules. Definitely, the sport has evolved since then but that was my first experience. Getting to see Forrest Griffen snap a guy’s leg on a chain and getting to see little people martial arts before and just a unique experience in 2006.
Spark News: My next question was going to be, describe the strangest fighting event you were ever involved in and I think that might have been it. But if you can’t top that one, maybe share with us a fight event you attended that was completely out of the norm.
CD: In America, they have unsanctioned events. There’ve been fights at what we call a chicken coup, you know, you go out to a reserve and you’re fighting in a field with a tent and a bunch of chickens running around people coming in and paying 10 bucks to watch you fight another guy in a cage. You know, where the doctor waves his hand to see if your eyes follow and that’s your medical. So I’ve been to those, I’ve been to all kinds of events. But my debut fight may have been the strangest but another one I was at as a spectator might top it.
Spark News: Where did that take place.
CD: It was an event in Compton called Pros Vs. Cons. So professional athletes and people in the police force, firemen and what, those types of people would face ex-convicts that trained in martial arts. We had a teammate who went down there to compete in the event. I’ve never seen anything like it. Danny Trejo (From Dusk Till Dawn, Devil’s Rejects, Death Race, and many more) was the CEO that was running the organization with Devo from the movie Friday, so a couple of Hollywood Actors running the show. We got there and we got screen-tested and we had to go through these machines. When we got into the venue all we could see was smoke. The security were throwing joints out into the crowd. I was thinking to myself this is a professional event right?! There must have been 15,000 people in the audience and there were more fights in the crowd. At one point in the event, the fighters stopped fighting and watched all the fights happening in the stands. On the way home, we saw a gas station get robbed at gunpoint.
So I think that was the most interesting event that I’ve ever been to personally and that was my first experience ever and hopefully my last in Compton. Yeah, there have been some journeys and there are some stories to tell.
Spark News: Who was your toughest opponent? Maybe a guy who hit the hardest or was the toughest you ever went toe to toe with?
CD: The guy who hit the hardest I think would be UFC veteran Marcus Davis or Darren Smith who I fought at the Fight for the Troops. The most overall scrappiest opponent I’ve ever faced, I think I’d have to say “Hellboy” Richie Witson who I fought at the Maximum Fighting Championships.
Spark News: Anyone you wouldn’t get in the ring with?
Spark News: Good answer. Who are some of the fighters who you look up to?
CD: I respect George St. Pierre obviously I think he was the most clever in mixed martial arts, overall I don’t think he’s pound for pound the greatest but I think he is the most clever you know, the way that he retired. But I have to say as a human being and as he left his legacy in the sport I’d say Khabib. He’s one of my top 2 and if you want to look at it from a point of selling tickets and marketing himself you know no one can disagree I think Connor McDavid. He’s done the greatest that anyone has but I think as far as grit down & dirty fighting I think my favorite fighters and the people I’ve always looked up to is the Diaz brothers you know, they’ll throw down they’ll fight anyone anytime and I think they just humble guys who come from a humble background and they’re just themselves right, so they don’t try to do anything different you know, whether it’s to sell tickets or to fight. So I think that’s so I think that in the fight world that means a lot.
Spark News: I understand you are looking to get sponsorship for this upcoming title fight? How can prospective sponsors get in touch with you?
CD: yes, they can contact me directly on Facebook with Curtis The Demon DeMarce or just Curt Demarce or on Instagram at Demarce_c88 or they can also reach me by phone at 204-730-2701. Or they can call my manager Rizvan Ali his number is +92-313-749-4649 he’s the CEO at MTK Management.
Spark News: How many more MMA fights do you think you have left in you?
CD: Ahh you know, I think that it depends on injuries and stuff but I think I’ll be shifting my focus… I wanted to stay at 145 I’m still undefeated at featherweight. But we got this offer and during restrictions with COVID around the world right now I think this is… you know we couldn’t pass up the opportunity for this world title on fight pass, so I think this will be my last fight at 155. We’ll see how this fight goes but I’ve still got lots of room left in me. I’ve always said I’d like to make one true run at my true division at 145 but we’re not there yet, we’re going for the 155 bout But I’m not done any time soon, I’ve still got lots in me.
Spark News: What is your biggest motivator to jump in the ring?
CD: I’ve always been a competitor and being, I think the lockdowns and restrictions with COVID have made me miss the competitive edge that I have and my focus of what I want and what I want to strive as a martial artist and I think this couldn’t be a better time because now I can be isolated completely in my camp and be ready spiritually and mentally I’m going to be the best. 2020 was hard on everyone. So I think that is my biggest motivator is the fact that I actually get to do what I love to do and just be myself.
Spark News: What do you plan on doing after your fighting career is over?
CD: Oh I’m down in Cabo bros. (Laughs) I’m sipping margies!
Spark News: Is that the end game?
CD: I think ultimately I want to have a chain of facilities where I can teach the younger generation that’s coming up especially with the hardship of the times that we’re going through. I think that everyone should be doing martial arts you know. I think that being able to teach and sharing my knowledge would be a privilege and then also just doing investments and doing me and being happy. We’ll see what the future holds but right now I’ve got one man to focus on.