Montreal Fight League (MFL) crowned two new champions on Saturday night.
MFL 19 featured a whopping 32 fights, which included two title bouts to close out the festivities in Montreal, Que.
In the main event, Charles Azoulay (now 3-1) defeated a tough and experienced test in Ramil Kamilov (now 6-4) by unanimous decision to become the new MFL amateur lightweight champion.
Azoulay was successful in defending the majority of takedown attempts from Kamilov, which he said he was prepared for, but wasn’t expecting at the same time.
“He kind of surprised me in the first by jumping on my leg 10 seconds in, but that’s what I worked with my coach. I trust my wrestling, so it was just staying focused and composed. The main thing I worked with my coach was creating damage, so every time I had a position I tried to hit him just to make him hesitate,” said Azoulay in an interview with MMA Empire.
“The guy is tough. I can’t say anything about that, the guy is great, he’s a real warrior. He’s freaking tough, but tonight was my night and I’m really happy about it.”
Prior to this bout, Azoulay had a difficult time finding fights on the amateur scene due to his two bouts in France that were deemed to be professional fights. But since MMA had not been legalized in France at the time of those fights, he was allowed to restart again as an amateur in Canada.
Azoulay said he had two goals to achieve by the time he turned 25 years old, which happened on July 22, and he now has the opportunity to complete both.
“I have to go pro now, it was the deal. When I was 23, I told myself when I turn 25 I will win a belt in amateur or sign a pro contract,” said Azoulay.
“I just turned 25 three days ago, I have the belt, and now I can go sign a pro contract. It’s freaking perfect everything worked out this way. I work hard for this and have a lot of sacrifices.”
In the co-main event, Olivier Poisson (now 6-0) remained perfect in a narrow split decision victory over Alex Gluzman (now 2-1) to claim the vacant MFL amateur featherweight title.
Poisson was unable to find the finish, as he’d done in four of his past wins, but he said he was still confident he had the win heading into the decision.
“It was a very tight fight, it was close. I didn’t really show my skills. For me, it was not a smart fight, but I got the win,” said Poisson in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I was confident (in the decision), but if the decision was going his way, I would understand and it would be okay.”
Now with six amateur fights under his belt, yet to taste defeat, and the MFL amateur featherweight champion, Poisson has options.
He said he needs to talk to his coaches, but said the most likely next step is to make the jump to the professional ranks.
“I have to talk with my coaches, but I would like to sign the pro contract soon. I would maybe defend my belt once, I don’t know, but my goal is to turn pro soon.”