One last time, Ali Wasuk will make the walk to the cage as an amateur.
Wasuk, 26, said, regardless of the result on May 26, he will make the big step to the professional ranks to continue progressing his MMA career.
“I’ve been thinking about it for awhile now, and was actually planning on turning pro before this fight, but couldn’t find an opponent at the pro level,” said Wasuk in an interview.
“I decided I didn’t want to be inactive, so I felt it made sense to take another amateur fight for the belt. Five three-minute rounds is like a pro fight.”
Of his six wins, Wasuk’s only contest that didn’t go the distance was a first-round submission victory back in his amateur debut in 2014.
While his amateur career will come to a close, win or lose, Wasuk said he has his sights set on going out with a bang, and earning his second-career finish.
“I’ve played this fight in my head many times, and every time I play it, I see me finishing him,” said Wasuk.
“Whether it be a grappling exchange and I get the submission, or whether I see an opening in the stand-up and go for the knockout, it’s going to be a stoppage.”
With nine amateur bouts to his name, including reaching the quarterfinals of the 2017 IMMAF World Championship, Wasuk certainly holds the edge in experience compared to Strazzella’s two career fights.
In addition to his world championship run, Wasuk earned the silver medal in the 2017 Canadian National championship, losing only to top-ranked Dylan Lielke.
“At the World’s in Bahrain, I fought three times in three days, against three different people with different styles, and adapted to each fight differently,” said Wasuk.
“As far as going in there and him (Strazzella) having the surprise factor on me, I think I have that upper hand because anything he throws at me, I’m sure I’ve seen it before.”
Strazzella Preparing for Toughest Test of Career
Strazzella, 24, said he has nothing but respect for Wasuk and what he’s accomplished in his amateur career.
Having stepped in the cage just two times prior to Saturday night, Strazzella said he fully expects Wasuk to be the toughest test of his career.
“All around, he’s the best guy I’ve fought to date,” said Strazzella.
“He’s a true MMA fighter.”
In his preparation for Wasuk, Strazzella said he’s envisioned this fight testing all areas of his game over the course of five potential rounds.
Although he feels Wasuk’s strength is his grappling, he said he won’t shy away from engaging on the ground.
“I’ve been training a long time, so I feel well-versed everywhere,” said Strazzella.
“Wherever the fight goes, I’ll be comfortable for sure.”
In addition to remaining undefeated, this will be Strazzella’s first crack at a title in his young MMA career.
Strazzella said this is a big moment for his career, and that a victory will present him with many opportunities, including turning professional.
“I feel like a little kid,” said Strazzella.
“It’s pretty exciting doing this for a legit promotion like Battlefield.”
“Shoutout to my squad at Tristar Vancouver, head coach Kajan Johnson, and main training partners John Nguyen, Bryce Gougeon and Jamie Siraj. Also to my strength and conditioning coach Ibby Ali at New Edge Alliance, and Dan Golkar at Scorpion MMA. Also a shoutout to my sponsors Westcanna and Active Body Pitt Meadows.”
“I have to thank my sponsor Science Lab for supporting me, my family, and the gym. Everyone knows who they are that’s been there for me. And thank you to Battlefield for this incredible opportunity.”