Jared Revel won’t let his past define his present.
The Langley resident has emerged from the darkness of addiction a better man: a role model, business owner, teacher, and – especially this Saturday, June 24 when he entered the octagon as part of the main event for Battlefield 49 at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam – a professional mixed martial arts fighter.
“I’m almost six years clean and sober,” Revel told the Timesrecently. “I’m part owner of a martial arts gym (Revolution Martial Arts & Fitness on the Langley Bypass), I’m a professional fighter, as well, and I instruct – we have over 150 kids and 150 adults that I help instruct.”
Revel, who sports a 5-1 professional record (his lone loss coming via decision), is taking on 5-0 Chris Anderson for the BFL world middleweight title.
At 32, Revel said he’s in the “best shape I’ve ever been in my life,” carrying a lean 185 pounds, chiseled into a six-foot-two-inch frame.
“Everything I do, from being healthy and treating my body the way I do is a tribute to that (dedication),” he said. “I feel I’m at the peak of my athleticism.”
If Revel emerges victorious, he’ll will push on, looking to post another notable win against a foe who has fought in the UFC. “(My goal is to) go against higher profile people,” he said.
Lots of support
Looking back, Revel has come a long way since 2011, when he entered a treatment facility to conquer a drug habit.
“I did struggle with some drug addiction,” Revel admitted. “I ended up losing my job and stuff; it definitely wasn’t good for me. I liked to party and it kind of carried on and became an everyday thing. But you still lie to yourself, tell yourself, ‘I’m not that bad.’”
He has taken addiction to the mat, but had a lot of help along the way.
“I got involved in a recovery scene; there’s lots of people who helped shape the kind of person I am today. Obviously martial arts was a huge focus,” Revel said. “It was one of the pillars.”
Originally from Carman, Man., Revel moved to B.C. when he was 18 and soon after got involved in martial arts including the aforementioned jiu jitsu. He has also dabbled in amateur boxing, wrestling, and kickboxing.
The thrill of engaging in one-on-one combat is what draws Revel to the sport.
“For me, it’s that moment that I truly feel alive,” Revel said. “I’m a hardcore competitor, and I find that it’s one of the purest forms of competition that I can find out there.”
Revel channels the pre-fight anxiety to his advantage.
“You can either channel it for being nervous, or you can channel it for excitement, and I like to channel it for excitement,” he said.
TV spotlight dims
Revel hopes to be the next Ultimate Fighter were dashed by an executive decision.
He was to audition for the popular television show on May 23 in Las Vegas, but it was decided that women’s flyweights would be the focus of the show, instead of men in the middleweight weight class.
“Super depressing,” Revel said.
When he’s not training and teaching at Revolution, Revel joins forces with Elisa Maruzzo to visit local schools for the 60 Minute Kids’ Club. This is a free program that supports students and elementary schools, physical literacy and health strategies.
“We talk about being fit for life and physical literacy,” Revel said. “I talk about how I’ve had failures in life and things that I’ve had to overcome and learn from. I truly believe in health and fitness and helping the next generation get there, right? There’s a huge movement happening in Canada for that, and I’m jumping on board.”
To link to tickets for Saturday’s night of mixed martial arts action in Coquitlam, visit bfltix.com/