A Brutally Honest (and Intimate) Interview with a Professional Fighter – Dave Leduc

dave leduc champion
It's been a long journey for Dave to get to where he is, but it has definitely paid off.

Before meeting my husband, Dave Leduc, the current Lethwei World Champion, I was a total stranger to the world of combat fighting. Now I’m a solid 5 out of 10 in terms of knowledge and experience. But what other interviewers might not have, is the up close and personal access to a professional fighter like my husband that I have.

To give you an idea of what I mean by that, we’re both in bed right now as I’m typing this. I’d like to pick his brain a little and see if I can get any interesting scoops about the sport and the mind of a professional fighter.

Lethwei is also known as Burmese bare knuckle boxing. The sport is often referred to as world’s most extreme form of striking martial art.

Check out my husband, Dave Leduc, at work here:

We spend a whole bunch of time together when he’s not busy kicking dudes in the face. As a consequence, I now know that there is so much more to the life of a professional fighter other than training and fighting. I’d like to educate and entertain our readers by interviewing my husband in a slightly more unconventional style, so let’s get to it.

Do you think a man needs to know how to fight?

Obviously. Nowadays there are so many stories – a man needs to be able to protect his woman and his family.

Rumor has it, professional fighters are better lovers. Do you think it’s the case and why?

Yes. Stamina.

Are male fighters attracted to female fighters?

I think some fighters may like it because of the fact that they do the same sport and if they ever go into a relationship, they would understand the struggles and the ups and downs that take place in a brain of a fighter. Maybe this plays a role.

As for me, I always had a rough time understanding female fighters – I don’t think it’s attractive… the blood and everything.

Dave Leduc championship
Dave and I after a successful night

What is the best paying fighting sport right now?

Boxing.

Why did you choose Lethwei over other martial art disciplines?

I didn’t choose Lethwei, Lethwei chose me. I was fighting Muay Thai and I got a call from the director of Prison Fight whom I fought for two years earlier in maximum security prison in Bangkok.

He knew I would agree, because I accepted to fight an inmate back then. Always liked new challenges! This time, he wanted me to fight Too Too, the middle weight Lethwei champion in Myanmar. I was there to lose, but I ended up dominating the champ and making a shocking debut in the Burmese bareknuckle boxing world.

How do you overcome your fear of the opponent?

I don’t have a fear. You can be stressed about your own performance, but the best fighter is never scared or mad. Everybody is human, everybody bleeds, everybody can get knocked out.

What goes through your mind when your opponent lands a solid shot and cuts you?  You’re gonna pay for this!

I’ve heard it’s common for fighters to get into deep depressions when they lose, is it true? Has it happened to you?

Yeah, we have the example of Ronda Rousey losing her fight and disappearing for a year. I would say it’s a thing, but it’s never happened to me.

There is so much controversy about fighters’ weight cuts before fights – what’s your worst weight cut story?

When I was a beginner in cutting weight, I overdid it. I didn’t eat, didn’t sleep, basically did everything wrong and went into the sauna for way too long. I had to lose a big amount of weight. I ended up passing out.

Dave leduc kicking
Behind the great fights there's the daily training that is a huge part of his life.

Would you like your children to become professional fighters?

Of course I would like that! I would encourage them to always do what they want to do and if it’s martial arts, then I’d love to be able to pass my knowledge and experience to them.

Can you really be financially secure as a fighter?

Of course, once you reach a certain level as a professional fighter, you will see your purse money go up as long as you keep winning and give exciting fights. If you encounter some losses, this may hit your paycheque. The main key is to build yourself a brand to attract big promotions and sponsors.

That’s where the big money comes from.

Do you need to give a show outside of the ring in order to get paid more? I’m talking like Connor McGregor.

I don’t call this a show, he’s just being himself. But usually, the more vocal a fighter is outside of the ring, the more money he sees down the road. But again,nothing is more powerful than winning. You can talk all you want; if you don’t perform at the fight – you look stupid.

How did you become a Tiger Muay Thai sponsored athlete in Phuket, Thailand?

I was born in Canada and started training Kung Fu and Sanshou at age 17. Sanshou is a Chinese striking martial art, which is the full-contact version of Kung Fu. My sifu, Patrick Marcil, always told me that learning this martial art will give me the edge in fighting because not a lot of people do it.

After three successful amateur MMA bouts, I decided to go on a trip to Thailand to perfect my craft – striking – and I always wanted to see this part of the world.

I ended up representing Tiger Muay Thai at my first Thai fight at the end of the trip. Then I did two more trips and, finally, got invited to do the fight team try-outs at Tiger, which is the biggest Muay Thai training camp in the world.

What are the perks of being a Tiger Muay Thai sponsored athlete?

You get free accommodation, food and free training.

Do strangers want to try and wrestle/fight you when they find out that you’re a professional?

I think it’s a thing when you’re amateur, but when you have a solid career they don’t try anymore. There’s more respect.

dave leduc bare knuckle boxing
Dave is all focus and drive to win when he's in the ring.
Comments
Read more like this