When he was 12 years old, Abbotsford’s Kultar Gill had one goal.
“I wanted to be a ninja,” he said.
So he eventually became one.
Gill was a natural in martial arts, becoming an expert in Muay Thai and turning pro in the sport at the age of 16. He parlayed that success into a remarkable career in the world of Mixed Martial Arts, compiling a professional record of 12 wins and eight losses and competing all over North America, Japan, Russia and India.
The biggest night of the year for the club occurs on Nov. 10, when Mamba Fight Night 4 takes over the Abbotsford Centre. The event has grown every year since 2014, and is now set to be one of the biggest MMA events in B.C. this year.
Back in 2014, the first Mamba Fight Night packed them in at the Ag-Rec Building and then moved to the Abbotsford Banquet Hall for 2015. The event returned to the Ag-Rec Building last year, but Gill said the move to the Abbotsford Centre this year is purely based on the numbers.
“We keep selling out and last year and the year before we turned people away,” he said. “If we did the Ag-Rec again we couldn’t fit all the people who want to come. We want the community to come out and enjoy the show.”
Gill said the community support for the event is huge, and said local businesses have stepped up to make the event a success.
“We have over 80 businesses supporting us and buying VIP tables and tickets,” he said. “A lot of these businesses are filled with people who don’t even watch MMA, but they come to support us and what we’re doing in the community. When you do good, I believe people see it and want to be a part of it.”
Gill said the good he and the gym do is give local youth an outlet. Dozens of Abbotsford youth train each and every week at the gym, and Gill said he makes sure that anyone who wants to train can, regardless of if they have the money to do so.
“We have so many kids that we sponsor and an event like Mamba Fight Night ensures we have a gym,” he said.
“It’s our biggest fundraiser of the gym and gives us the chance to offer a lot for the community. There are so many members that have keys to our gym, so if it’s a Friday night and they have nothing else to do, they can come and train and stay away from some of the negative elements.
“We’ve changed so many lives and put people on the right direction. Kids that were getting into trouble are now getting scholarships, getting jobs and making a positive difference.”
Gill emphasized that MFN4 isn’t just a fight card, it’s an event. Rapper Merkules is performing at the event, and midget wrestlers Short Sleeve Sampson and Prince Akeem will also compete in a professional wrestling match.
The fight card features a who’s who of the Abbotsford MMA scene, with locals Gagan Gill, Mission’s Liam Stevenson, Susy Watson and Austin Batra entering the ring.
“Gagan is probably the pound-for-pound best fighter in B.C. and Austin is a Canadian national wrestling champion,” Gill said. “There’s going to be so much talent on display, and a lot of it is coming right from Abbotsford.”
Matches will consist of three three-minute rounds, with championship matches going for five rounds.
Gill last fought professionally in 2012, when he knocked out his opponent Amr Wahman in round one of the Super Fight League 4 event in Mumbai, India.
The 38-year-old, who works full-time as a corrections officer at the Matqsui Institution, said age and time made him step away from the fight game. But he said he hasn’t completely shut the door on one day reentering the ring.
“I’m almost 39 and the likelihood of injury becomes greater with age,” he said.
“You don’t recover as well either. The thing is, though, I’ve already made it. If I fight, I won’t have time for my students; it’s now their time. But if I ever come back maybe it would be for Mamba Fight Night 5. I’m not officially retired but I’m just very busy with my job, running the gym and training my students.”
Weigh-ins for the event occur at Finnegan’s Pub at 6:30 p.m. on Nov. 9. Doors open at the Abbotsford Centre at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 10, with the event kicking off at 6:30 p.m.
An after party for the event, which features rapper Thug Pun and DJ Hark, occurs at the Phoenix Ballroom starting at 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $35 for the after party.
Tickets are still available for MFN4. For more information on the event, visit mfn.mambamma.com.