Local undefeated MMA champ to defend title
Caleb Wainman, 2009 graduate of Linton-Stockton High School and former Miner offensive lineman, is a mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter and champion in his 205 lb. weight range.
Wainman will defend his title March 25, as he faces former champion Wade Collins of Vincennes in a sold-out bout set to take place at the Downtown Gym, located at 124 South Court Street in Sullivan.
“Oh yeah, I’m excited,” said Wainman. “I’ve only had to defend my title once, looking forward to keeping it again.”
He gives a lot of credit to trainer and coach Travis Coleman.
“Travis brings the motivation,” says Wainman. “He really has brought my stand-up game up to par.”
Coleman, a former champion kickboxer, trains with Wainman several times a week, and will come out of retirement at the March event, defending his own title against Eddie Cox of Vincennes.
Coleman, 42, lives in Jasonville with wife Danielle, who he says is very supportive of everything he does.
“Travis works me hard, he trains me hard and it’s great to have him,” said Wainman. Wainman and his trainer are sponsored by the Ultimate Fitness Center of Linton, located on Highway 54, directly across from Shields Hardware.
Ultimate Fitness, open since January 9, is owned and operated by Laurie Pleake of Brazil, and is open seven days a week.
“I am really excited to be a small part of this event,” Pleake said. “Caleb and Travis train here frequently, and I would definitely call myself and the gym proud supporters.”
Of Wainman and Coleman, Pleake said, “I am so proud of them. They are here a lot, training hard, working hard. Caleb is a champ, they both are really. I consider them the ambassadors of the Ultimate Fitness Gym.”
Wainman said after high school, he was looking for a competitive sport that would offer a different kind of challenge than he was used to, so he gave jiujitsu a try. Pleased with the sport, he practiced for months before deciding to try MMA fighting.
“It was hard at first,” said Wainman. “Mostly defense, but Travis has really helped a lot with my stand-up game.”
He soon discovered a natural talent for the sport, and dove in headfirst. Wainman currently holds the number one title in the 205 pound class in his organization. He holds a 5-0-0 record, is ranked number two of 31 in Indiana in the amateur light heavyweight division, and 12 of 502 in the Midwest.
Out of Wainman’s five bouts, all have ended with him as the victor, but his record does not seem to have gone to his head. Wainman fights for the challenge, for the craft and for personal satisfaction.
Always striving to improve, this five-time winner is looking forward to his sixth win March 25.
“I just keep on the grind,” Wainman said. “One day at a time.”
Laurie Pleake’s Ultimate Fitness Gym is open from 5:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. They can be reached at 812-699-4529.