There was a lot of hype surrounding Rise FC 5, and it certainly delivered Saturday night in Chilliwack, B.C.
In the main event, Chad Anheliger (now 10-5) successfully defended his Rise FC bantamweight title for the first time and stretched his win streak to eight after a third round TKO finish of Brady Hiestand (now 4-1).
Prior to the finish, both fighters had their moments throughout the contest, with Hiestand having a tight d’arce choke locked in as the second round came to a close.
“I’m happy with how it went. I’m happy to get hard pushes from hard opponents that can give me things to think about and deal with,” said Anheliger in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m just so glad he took that fight seriously. He came here to win that belt, so that’s what really gave me that push to fight hard. I’m really proud of myself for pushing through it.”
Anheliger was originally slated to face Jamie Siraj in this matchup before Siraj was forced out due to injury.
With Siraj sitting cageside for the fight and undoubtedly next in line once again for the next title shot, Anheliger said he has no objections to setting that fight up again.
“That fight’s out there. I signed to it once; I signed my name beside his and the fight didn’t materialize, so I don’t know what more people want from me,” said Anheliger.
“If he’s next, then he’s next and we’ll do that fight.”
Da Silva Shows Well-Roundedness
In the co-main event, Radley Da Silva (now 2-1) showed no signs of rust after a six-year layoff, submitting John Nguyen (now 2-1) in the second round to win the featherweight title.
In what was a matchup between two elite strikers, it was on the ground where the majority of the fight took place, with Nguyen maintaining control for much of the first round and Da Silva utilizing a smooth level change to secure the takedown in the second round.
Despite his capoeira background, Da Silva said the dynamic of the fight and how the finish played out was exactly what he envisioned.
“It was exactly the way I pictured it. I could’ve won without throwing a single punch because I just adapt in there,” said Da Silva in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I’m going to take the path of least resistance; there’s no point in trying to brawl because I’m not one of those kind of fighters. I’ve been training my whole life, I’m disciplined, and I know I have to do what I have to do and when I have to do it.”
Da Silva comes from a family with a rich history in combat sports, both locally and worldwide.
Now having added his first title to his family’s legacy, Da Silva said it’s a moment and an accomplishment he’ll never forget.
“This belt means a lot because my family’s been in the Vancouver fight scene for over a decade now and this is the first professional championship I’m bringing to the family,” said Da Silva.
“My dad’s fought professional, both my cousins fought professional, my brother fought amateur, and now I’m fighting professional. This is the first title I’m bringing to the family, and I’m very proud of that.”
Ouellet Finishes Trilogy
In the amateur lightweight title and trilogy bout, Raphael Ouellet (now 3-1) came out on top with a second round submission of Damon Marlow (now 2-2) to become the new Rise FC amateur lightweight champion.
With the first two meetings being a split decision win apiece, Ouellet said he wanted to make a statement in the third meeting, and did just that.
“It was a good fight and Damon’s a tough opponent. We’ve fought three times now, so I knew what he was coming with,” said Ouellet in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I just wanted to land my shots and if it went to the ground, get the sub.”
This marks Ouellet’s first title of his amateur career in his first opportunity.
As far as the future goes, Ouellet said he’s looking to get a few more amateur fights under his belt, defend his title, and make the jump to professional.
“It’s a milestone. It’s a stepping stone because I want to go pro. I’m not in this to fight for free,” said Ouellet.
“It’s a tough gig, but a couple more amateur fights and I’ll go pro for sure.”
Josh Kwiatkowski, Vicente Mabanta, Kieran Davies, Maria Djukic, and Jason Bakes all also left Chilliwack with victories, while James Foster and Alex Branom fought to a split draw in the fight of the night.