A local mixed martial arts fighter turned figure athlete recently brought home some new hardware from the B.C. Amateur Bodybuilding Association’s (BCABBA) Western Canadian Bodybuilding and Fitness Championships.
The championships, which took place in Kelowna on May 17, saw Ruth Saunders from Central Saanich capture second place in the Figure Tall category, earning her a qualification for the provincials and the World Qualifiers.
Saunders, who is currently on a three year fight contract with a pro fight league out of Mumbai, India has been taking a break from competitive fighting to focus on fitness competitions.
“[Placing second] was a huge accomplishment for me as I have been training and competing in MMA for eight years,” Saunders explained.
“I competed in the Western Canadian Martial Arts Championships two years ago and brought home gold for Submission Fighting, but training and prepping for a fitness competition couldn’t be more different, so it was a big accomplishment for me.”
Saunders, who trains under Allison Dawson from Encore Fitness and Sport, said competing in fitness, although very different from MMA, was a logical choice for her.
“I chose to compete because I had decided to give my body a break from MMA and switch sports to something more gentle for a while. Because the gym was already my second home, it was an easy choice,” she said.
The BCABBA provincial championships take place June 28 in New Westminster.