One of Canada’s finest mixed martial artists

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Joe Doerksen works hard to say on top

Ed Kapp
News Writer

A true pioneer of Canadian mixed martial arts, Joe Doerksen is one of the sport’s most seasoned veterans. At this point in time, he shows no signs of slowing down.

Since making his professional debut over 11 years ago at the first Bas Rutten Invitational tournament, the one they call “El Dirte” has amassed nearly 50 career victories, including a staggering 33 wins by way of submission, and has established himself as one of the top Canadian MMA of all time.

Doerksen has fought across North America and Japan and has competed for many of the sport’s biggest promotions, including Rings USA, King of the Cage, the International Fight League, DEEP, the WEC, and Sengoku.

Doerksen is feeling confident for his upcoming bout in Montreal, Que., where he will be taking on Dan Miller, a legitimate contender despite losing three of his last four bouts, in front of a very enthusiastic Canadian crowd.

“I’ve always liked fighting at home in Canada – whether it’s Ontario, Manitoba, or Quebec, it makes no difference,” explained Doerksen. “It’s just always great to fight in front of Canadian fans. I’m going to be really comfortable in Montreal. I’ve fought in that city a few times before, and being the Canadian, I think I’m just going to be very comfortable going in there. I feel really confident and I think it will help me perform really well.”

Born in New Bothwell, Man., Doerksen has long been aware and appreciative of Canada’s passionate fan-base.

“Canadians are a tough breed, and we like our entertainment to be a little rough,” offered Doerksen, “For some reason, Canada seems to have a high concentration of fans. I think it’s just great. They’re really enthusiastic fans as well. It’s always a treat.”

Although Doerksen appears to genuinely love his life as a mixed martial artist, he is acutely aware that mixed martial arts is his livelihood, and approaches his preparations as such – although he has no problem taking a bit of time off to decompress after his bouts.

“It is a job you have to take seriously,” noted Doerksen. “You have to go into work each day, but it’s really easy to go in and work hard when you love what you do. There are days that I’d like to go out for a beer with my buddies rather than staying at home, but in the long run I know I’ve only got six weeks of hard training, having to behave myself and then I can have some time off afterward.”

When asked how much longer Doerksen would like to compete as a mixed martial artist, “El Dirte” insists he has no plans on leaving the “fight game” any time soon – but at the same time he does not hold the delusions that seems to be a fairly common trait among many of Doerksen`s peers.

“I still feel like I’m improving as a fighter,” said Doerksen. “I still feel very healthy and strong. From right now, I’d guess I could do another 45 years, but it really depends on how my body holds up. It also depends on how much fun I’m having. If anything changes, my career might change as well. For now, I’m willing to go out, work hard, and do my best every time.”

Regardless of how much longer “El Dirte” plans on competing, Doerksen will no doubt be remembered as not only a pioneer of the sport in Canada, but also as one of Canada’s finest mixed martial artists.

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