There’s nothing like running it back with a belt on the line.
Squamish’s Gwyn Berry (6-2) will look to make it two straight over Oliver’s Dakota Angel (3-1) when they square off for the vacant BFL amateur featherweight title at BFL 63 on Saturday night in Coquitlam, B.C.
Despite coming out on top in the first meeting at BFL 61, Berry, 25, said he wasn’t happy with his performance and hopes to use this rematch as a chance to show he’s the better fighter, in dominant fashion.
“I just want to let him know he had a good night and I had a bad night, and still got it done,” said Berry in an interview.
“I really want to show him that we’re on different levels; I’m a different level than he is.”
Berry is no stranger to winning titles, having won the AMA amateur lightweight title earlier this year at AMA 33 and the BFL amateur welterweight title back in 2017.
But Berry said winning the BFL amateur featherweight title is a feat he’s always wanted to accomplish, and would mean that little extra more to do so.
“When I first started MMA, I used to write on the wall ‘featherweight belt.’ That was my first goal to win the featherweight belt,” said Berry,
“Technically, this will be the belt I originally planned for, so it means a lot for sure.”
Training primarily out of the The Sound Martial Arts, while also cross-training with Checkmat Vancouver, Berry has the luxury of working with some of the best in B.C., including UFC fighters Tristan Connelly and Cole Smith.
Connelly stole the show in his UFC debut this past weekend at UFC Vancouver, moving up a weight class on five days notice and defeating the heavily-favoured and highly-touted prospect Michel Pereira.
And with both Smith’s and Connelly’s UFC bouts fresh in his mind, Berry said he’s never felt more motivated to step back in the cage..
“Tristan’s been a main training partner of mine lately; I finally got to that point where I could train with him and get those sparring rounds, so knowing that he made it really opened up my eyes big time,” said Berry.
“It’s definitely sparked an even bigger fire under me.”
Angel Remained Positive After Loss
In the first meeting between Angel and Berry, Angel, 26, was on the wrong side of a tight split decision, also suffering the first loss of his career in the process.
And while he said their were a few fundamental changes he could’ve made, Angel said his biggest takeaway from the contest was how he handled the loss.
“I always figured after my first loss I’d be a little more down or upset, but I actually felt not too bad after the fight,” said Angel in an interview.
“In the end, I was just surprised I wasn’t super down. The fact that I get this rematch just tells me to keep my head up, keep moving on, and good things can still happen.”
In the first meeting, Angel found success in the clinch and wearing out Berry up against the cage, and appearing to have the superior cardio.
Overall, Angel said he fought a good fight, but it was a matter of a couple minor differences in the grand scheme of things that led to the decision going in Berry’s favour.
“It was kind of a shoulda, coulda, woulda kind of fight. It was so close and it was just a couple little things that decided the fight,” said Angel.
“One thing that stood out, obviously, was him voicing the fact that if it went one more round, he probably couldn’t have made it, whereas I felt like I was just heating up in the third round.”
Much like Berry, Angel is excited for the immediate rematch, and not only for the shot at his first title.
Angel said after losing such a close fight and having the chance at redemption right away, he feels like he has a lot to prove.
“It’s exciting; I’ve always thought about fighting someone I’ve already fought,” said Angel.
“I feel like if I can win this fight then, in my mind, I’m 2-0 against him. And redemption is awesome, especially with the title on the line.”
“I’d like to thank my family, my girlfriend Jessica, my two children Hero and Silver, coach Andrew Thistle, my training partner/coach Marlan Hall, the whole team at Pacific Top Team: Pentiction, and Jacob Gardhouse from Pacific Top Team: Oliver.” Follow Angel on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM