Back-to-back BFL events deliver successful title defence, new bantamweight champ and potential new title challenger

BFL 68 and BFL 69 are in the books after an action-packed two nights of mixed martial arts in Vancouver, B.C.

In the BFL 68 main event, Serhiy Sidey (now 5-1) derailed the hype train of Gio Platon (now 2-1), submitting him with a triangle choke in the first round to become the new BFL bantamweight champion.

The victory marks Sidey’s first title win of his professional career and he said it’s all starting to feel very real to him now.

“It’s starting to sink in now, but it definitely felt crazy in the moment. I visualized it for awhile after that first fight fell through,” said Sidey in an interview with MMA Empire.

“It’s pretty crazy because I do these float tanks and I always go through scenarios in my head of ways the fight could end and that was one of the ways I saw the fight ending. Regardless of if I ended up on the bottom by getting rocked by a punch or a situation like that where he swept me down, I visualized that transition and actually visualized finishing that triangle choke. It was pretty crazy when it all happened and took me a second and kind of felt trippy. I didn’t know if I was dreaming or not because it happened like I saw in those float tanks.”

Sidey didn’t have to wait long to find out who his next opponent would be as Ali Wasuk was brought into the cage alongside him during an intermission at BFL 69 for a fight announcement and face off.

According to the announcement, Sidey and Wasuk will battle at BFL 70 on Dec. 3 after originally being scheduled to fight on June 4 before a bad weight cut for Wasuk cancelled the bout.

“I want to get that fight in, man. I did a whole training camp for that guy, I know I can beat him and I feel like it’s a good matchup for me,” said Sidey.

“I think that’s the move to make, so I think it’s December 3 they want to set that fight up. Regardless, I think my next opponent will be Ali.”

In the BFL 69 main event, Caio Machado (now 6-1-1) extended his winning streak and defended his BFL heavyweight title in the process, submitting Lee Mein (now 11-16) in the first round. Mein accepted the fight on less than one week’s notice after Machado’s original opponent, Randy McCarty, was forced to withdraw due to travel issues.

Machado said he’s grateful for Mein stepping in and saving the fight, but said he feels he’s on a different level than any heavyweight in Canada.

“Honestly, I’m fighting at a different speed than the average heavyweight. It’s what I train to do. I hit like a heavyweight, but move like a middleweight or welterweight,” said Machado in an interview with MMA Empire.

“He was shelled up and swung and hit me with that hook, but I’ve taken harder punches than that. It was just another day at the office.”

Prior to this bout, Machado defeated Christian Larsen at BFL 67 in a matchup of two of Canada’s most promising heavyweights. Larsen was back in action last weekend at Unified MMA 41 where he defeated Grayson Wells to defend his Unified MMA heavyweight title. Following the bout, Larsen called on Machado for a rematch and invited him to challenge for his Unified MMA title.

Machado said a rematch with Larsen would be a fight he would consider if it was the only realistic option for him, but said he has other Canadians on his mind. And on a bigger stage.

“I would take that fight if it was the fight to make, but I’m not that interested in it. I’m more interested in his teammate. I want to beat the s**t out of Tanner Boser. Give me that guy,” said Machado.

“Christian’s a big guy, but he’s just a big guy. I’m a fighter, I’m a martial artist, I can beat him at any part of my game. I want to move forward, I don’t want to move back. My goal is the UFC, Tanner’s over there, so give me that guy.”

In the BFL 69 co-main event, jiu-jitsu black belt Nicolas Ouellet (now 2-0) took the fight into his world in quick fashion, submitting Mike McAloon (now 4-3) with a rear-naked choke in the first round.

Ouellet said he was expecting a different start to the fight, but, in the end, everything went according to plan.

“I was expecting to strike a little more to be honest. That’s always what I want to do,” said Ouellet in an interview with MMA Empire.

“Grappling just seems to happen super organically in there. The fight ends up grappling always it seems like. Once we’re grappling, why wouldn’t I try to finish it from there?”

After an impressive amateur career that saw him claim an amateur title, Ouellet has showed no signs of weakness so far in his professional career either.

Although only two fights into his professional career, Ouellet said he believes a title shot could be next for him in the featherweight division.

“I know it’s (the featherweight title) vacant and I heard a lot of rumours from the promotion and other people telling me that this was a number one contender fight,” said Ouellet.

“I kind of expected my next fight to be for the belt.”

For the full results for both BFL 68 and BFL 69, click here.