Kelowna News

Another local fighter signed by UFC

Kelowna's Matt Dwyer (left) with coach and owner of Toshido MMA David Lea. Dwyer has been signed to a four-year contract with the UFC.
Image Credit: Contributed

KELOWNA – We’ve already got the most popular female MMA fighter in Canada calling Kelowna home and superstar welterweight Rory MacDonald is also from Kelowna, now add another local name to the list of UFC fighters representing the Okanagan Valley.

Matt Dwyer, 24, has lived in Kelowna since he was two-years-old. A few weeks ago he found out he was signed to a remarkably rare four fight contract with the biggest fight promotion in the world.

“It’s awesome. It’s a great feeling,” says the Battlefield Fight League champion. “All the hard work is paying off.”

It is unusual for the UFC to sign a new fighter to a multi-year contract, but Dwyer’s 7-1 record and penchant for putting on exciting fights has not only caught the attention of the UFC but some of their money as well.

“It’s crazy,” Dwyer says. “I’m excited. I just want to go out there and put on a good show.”

Dwyer, who grew up in Rutland, says he learned to fight on the street but as soon as he saw UFC on TV, he knew instantly that’s where he belonged.

“I’m a bit of an entertainer,” says the 6’5” welterweight. “I grew up in a rougher side of town and I wasn’t afraid to fight. When I saw the Stephan Bonner/Forest Griffin fight, I just knew that was what I wanted to do.”

Dwyer, who trains at David Lea’s Toshido MMA, says he couldn’t have made it this far without such a supportive group of top tier fighters.

“It’s a great team,” he says. “If one guy loses, everybody feels like they lost.”

Dwyer’s first fight is in Los Angeles Aug. 2. Although he can't disclose the name of the opponent, he says he's up for the challege.

“He’s a beast,” Dwyer says. “He’s on a roll right now but I can definitely beat him. I want to be remembered as a guy who knows how to fight but also someone who knows how to entertain the fans.”

Matt Dwyer defeated UFC veteran Shonie Carter to hold on to his BFL belt in January 2014.

To contact the reporter for this story, email Adam Proskiw at or call 250-718-0428. To contact the editor, email or call 250-718-2724.

THOMPSON: A year later COVID-19 still an imminent threat
  OPINION We’re all weary of the pandemic that has plagued us for more than a year. We’re tired of social distancing and isolating from family and friends...tired of scrubbing our hands like physicians prepp
The Chase is C.C. Jentsch's highly rated red wine blend.
Wine of the Week: The Chase from C.C. Jentsch Cellars
The B.C. wine industry lost another beloved member. News of the recent passing of Chris Jentsch of C.C. Jentsch Cellars has saddened the community. Chris and his wife Betty both grew up in the Okanagan orchard industry and eventually convert

Top News