It was a busy night for the judges at BFL 64.
On an evening where nine bouts went the distance, Caio Machado (now 3-1-1) was involved in one of those nine contests, taking a narrow majority decision over Justin Doege (now 2-2) to become the new BFL heavyweight champion in Coquitlam, B.C. on Saturday night.
Machado said he knew he’d be the more effective fighter if they reached the championship rounds, which turned out to be where he did his best work.
“This was the first fight I went full-time for a camp, dedicated my life to fighting, and had more time for training,” said Machado in his post-fight interview.”
“I had been to the championship rounds before and I knew that’s where I would be better.”
Doege caught Machado with one of his hard overhand rights in the third round that sent Machado to the mat. Machado said he was hurt briefly after the shot, but was fully recovered once they were back on the feet.
Machado said he will be taking the next few months off for the Christmas holidays and to travel back to Brazil to see his family.
Upon his return, Machado said he’s hoping this title win will be his ticket to bigger and better opportunities down the line.
“I’m looking to go to the next level now. I think this belt was my ticket to the next level,” said Machado in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I want to go to the big leagues. I don’t want to stay as the BFL champion; I want to be a UFC, Bellator or ONE FC champion.”
Indroop Virk (now 7-0) accomplished a rare feat Saturday night, winning his third title in a third different weight class after a split decision victory over Mitch Strazzella (now 3-3) to win the BFL amateur bantamweight title.
With Strazzella missing weight, the contest was changed to a three-round fight in which only Virk was eligible to win the title with a victory.
Virk said he was disappointed he wasn’t able to secure the finish and was surprised at the split decision, but ultimately happy to come away with the win.
“It went real good, but I was kind of expecting a finish, which I didn’t get,” said Virk in an interview with MMA Empire.
“He was fu**ing tough; he was hard to hold down. I got a couple good slams on him, which was good, but I was surprised at the split decision. I thought I was going to get a 30-27 unanimous decision.”
But regardless of how the win came, Virk has now won belts in three different weight classes in his amateur career, with the flyweight and bantamweight titles coming for BFL and a featherweight title for Rumble in the Cage.
Virk said he was happy to have accomplished such a rare feat, and now has some decisions to make on what’s next for his MMA career.
“It feels great. I’m probably the only guy in Canada to have won three different belts in three different divisions,” said Virk.
“I’m going to Thailand in three weeks for some training, so when I get back in March I’ll talk to my coaches and figure out where we go from here.”
In other championship action, Mike Brackett returned after a four-year layoff to capture the BFL 175-pound amateur title, finishing Phil Lauzon by TKO in the fourth round.
Oguzhan Yalcin put on a wrestling clinic in his amateur featherweight title bout with Mani El-Hefnawy, leaving with the unanimous decision win and his first belt.
Jesus Garcia, Taylor Christopher, Dario Sinagoga, Glen Cuevas, Omar Stefanini, Maria Demers, Sina Maani, Niko Chan, Daniel Abdenour and Carson Le were also victorious on the evening.