It’s a rematch nearly one year in the making.
Okotoks’ Dan Kovalchuk (6-2) will defend his amateur welterweight title for the first time against Fort McMurray’s Mark Mosure (6-2) in the main event of Prestige FC 12 in Fort McMurray, Alta. on Friday night.
Kovalchuk, 23, won the title back at Prestige FC 11, where he defeated Mosure by submission in the second round.
For Kovalchuk, defending his title would be a reward and further confirmation all the hard work he’s been putting in is all worth it.
“It would just show my hard work pays off and the hard work my coaches put into me pays off too,” said Kovalchuk in an interview with MMA Empire.
“For me, it’s all about representing my gyms, my teammates, and my coaches. Defending the title is definitely going to be a big thing for all of us.”
With the first meeting and the rematch both taking place in his hometown, Mosure, 23, said he has something to prove.
He said while being able to win the title in his hometown would be amazing, it’s equally as important to him to redeem himself for his last performance and show himself, and everyone in attendance, what he’s truly capable of.
“For me, as equally awesome as winning the title would be, it’s more about being able to redeem myself and basically show myself and other people I’ve improved since the last time,” said Mosure in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I think that’s equally as important.”
Although the first meeting ended rather quickly, 1:50 into the second round, the potential for a five-round fight is still very much alive.
Having just recently gone five hard rounds with Ramil Kamilov at XFFC 22, Kovalchuk said he believes the odds would be in his favour if he and Mosure were to go the distance Friday night.
“After experiencing what it is and how horrible five rounds are, I’ve put a lot more emphasis on my conditioning and technique to last that amount of time,” said Kovalchuk.
“I just think I already have something that he doesn’t, which is going those five rounds.”
Over his eight-fight amateur career, Kovalchuk has proven his well-roundedness, winning four fights by submission, one by knockout and another by unanimous decision.
Kovalchuk said he believes the biggest edge he holds over Mosure is simply being a more technical fighter, and being able to put everything together systematically.
“I always make sure my skill and technique are on point, that I’m sharp, and I know what I’m doing,” said Kovalchuk.
“I know I’m conditioned and strong as well, so overall I think I have the advantage as an overall fighter.”
Since the first meeting, Mosure has fought three times, going 2-1 in that time, including a gold medal at the 2019 Canadian National Amateur Championships.
With three more fights to his name and nearly a full year of more training, Mosure said he feels like a whole new fighter compared to last outing.
“I’m pretty much a completely different fighter. I’ve just been working day-in and day-out, stacking my lego pieces up,” said Mosure.
“I’m very confident in my striking and grappling, and have just been working on everything.”
In the first meeting, Mosure was finding plenty of success in the first round, bringing a fast pace and landing a number of significant strikes.
Mosure said he’s going to look to do much of the same as he did the first time around, but with a few tweaks added in.
“I’m going to do the same thing, but different,” said Mosure.
“I’m going to try and be a little more patient in there. When you’re not patient, it’s pretty easy to make a small mistake, and he capitalized last time.”