Owens Victorious, Anheliger Double Champ, Siraj Dominant at Rise FC 3

The third instalment of Rise FC delivered another banger in Chilliwack, B.C. on Saturday night.

In the main event, D’Juan Owens (now 17-13-1) disappointed the Chilliwack crowd, taking a split decision over Rise FC president and hometown favourite Sabah Fadai (11-6, 1 NC).

Overall, Owens said he was happy with the result, but felt it should’ve been a clear unanimous decision instead of a split decision. He said he felt he clearly won the first two rounds and Fadai clearly won the third.

D'Juan Owens
D’Juan Owens after his win over Sabah Fadai at Rise FC 3. (Photo courtesy of D’Juan Owens)

“I’m not going to lie, when they read off the first judge’s card for his side, I thought there was going to be some home cooking,” said Owens.

“But it worked out, we got the win, and Sabah was tough.”

In his pre-fight interview, Owens said his last loss at CES 51 was hard on him mentally, with it being one of the biggest fights of his career.

Now being back on the winning track, Owens said he’s feeling a lot better mentally and is looking forward to building off this victory.

“I’ve been doing this long enough that I know where my skill level’s at. I know I can compete with anyone in my weight class,” said Owens.

“But the results matter. This is a results-based sport. This is a what have you done for me lately sport.”

Anheliger Champ, Champ

In the co-main event and bantamweight title fight, Rise FC flyweight champion Chad Anheliger (now 9-5) became a two-weight division champion, finishing Craig Maclean (now 5-3) in the third round to claim the gold.

Anheliger did his homework coming in, and said the fight played out just as he expected, as well as Maclean being as tough as he anticipated.

Chad Anheliger
Chad Anheliger after defeating Craig Maclean for the Rise FC bantamweight title. (Photo by Brian Bird)

“I knew Craig was super tough and was not just going to go away, so even though I was hitting him hard and felt like I was getting the momentum, he just wasn’t fading,” said Anheliger.

“I knew eventually I’d get my finish on him. I’ve got better striking than anyone they’re going to put me in there with, so it came through.”

Not only is Anheliger the proud owner of both the Rise FC flyweight and bantamweight titles, but he’s also now won seven fights in a row.

He’s currently riding one of the most impressive streaks in Western Canada, and said it still hasn’t fully sunk in as to what he accomplished against Maclean.

“It’s still pretty hard to wrap my head around it,” said Anheliger.

“I’m so happy I was able to get the win, but it’s more than me. I just feel so happy I could get it for my friends, my family, my coaches and my team. I’ve been working hard for a long time and it’s just collection season now.”

Siraj Stays Hot

In other bantamweight action, Jamie Siraj (now 7-2) continued his climb up the bantamweight ranks with a dominant unanimous decision win over Gabe Sagman (now 5-4).

With the event taking place in the town he grew up in, Siraj said it was a special feeling to get his hand raised in front of so many friends and family.

Jamie Siraj
Jamie Siraj utilizes his relentless ground and pound on Michael Hay at Unified MMA 35. (Photo by Joel Griffith)

“It was surreal. Before I ever started training MMA, growing up as an angry little street kid, I probably had 10 fights in that parking lot,” said Siraj.

“It was surreal just being back there fighting as a professional mixed martial artist in my hometown.”

The win marks four straight wins for Siraj since his loss to newly-signed UFC fighter Cole Smith.

While nothing has been set in stone, the win will likely vault Siraj to the top of the list for receiving the first crack at Anheliger for the Rise FC bantamweight strap.

“It looks like me and Chad are next, and that’s a fight I’m extremely confident taking,” said Siraj.

“I think I go out there and finish him, or put the grind on him for 25 minutes and take that belt.”

Terrence Spina, Saeid Mirzaei, Jorge Arcala, Vicente Mabanta, Joey Foy and Manny Fernandez were also victorious on the evening.

Fight recap brought to you by Skookum Yardscapes.