The Idaho Statesman
BOISE, Idaho – Jeremy Yablonski is used to playing the tough man at Qwest Arena. He’s just used to doing it as a hockey player.
This time, the former Idaho Steelheads’ enforcer will participate in his first mixed martial arts event — XFS 5: Heavy Hitters at Qwest Arena. Yablonski will meet Rudy Martin of Caldwell, Idaho in one of 11 fights on Saturday’s card.
“I’m going to go out and do the same stuff — go out looking to crack some heads and get a knockout,” Yablonski said. “In the end, it’s fighting.”
Yablonski, a three-time Saskatchewan provincial boxing champion and six-time Golden Gloves winner, played 41 games with the Steelheads this season. He had three goals, three assists and 163 penalty minutes.
Yablonski, who had 303 penalty minutes in 2001-02 with the Steelheads, was suspended for seven games near the end of the season and not included on the team’s playoff roster.
He has been working with MMA fighters for three years, but his hockey career has not allowed him time to get into the ring.