Anheliger, Maclean First Rise FC Champions, Mackenzie Triumphant in Pro Debut

The action was fast and furious at Rise FC 2 on Friday night in Chilliwack, B.C.

In the first of two title fights on the card, Chad Anheliger (now 8-5) wasted no time securing his first championship as he finished Terrence Chan (now 4-2) in the first round by TKO in their flyweight title match.

Anheliger said winning the title represents more than just this one win, and represents what he’s been working his entire career for.

Chad Anheliger
Chad Anheliger celebrates his victory at Hard Knocks 54. (Photo courtesy of Hard Knocks Fighting)

“This feels like such an accumulation of things. This belt symbolizes a lot of hard work I’ve been putting in for a lot of years,” said Anheliger in an interview.

“I’m very very happy I was able to pull it off tonight.”

The victory also marks Anheliger’s sixth-straight inside the cage, five of which have been finishes.

Anheliger said Chan went for the takedown as he was expecting, but was surprised Chan was able to hang with him on the feet for as long as he did.

“Normally, I touch guys once or twice and they really don’t want to be there,” said Anheliger.

“But he was down tonight. He was ready to throw and go out on his shield, so I have big props to him for it.”

Cookie Monster Champion

In the second title, Craig Maclean (now 5-2) made quick work of Andrew Bard (now 2-7), scoring the knockout less than one minute into the first round to secure the bantamweight title.

Both fighters came out hard from the get-go, each landing their share of solid shots, but ultimately it was Maclean who landed a knee to the body, followed by the finishing right hand.

Craig Maclean
Craig Maclean celebrates his bantamweight title victory at Rise FC 2.

“He was definitely hurt after that,” said Maclean in an interview.

“I know he complained a little bit to the ref, but it was only going to go downhill from there because he was pretty out of it.”

Maclean has now won four of his last five fights, with this contest being his first outside of the BFL cage.

He said he’s looking to defend his belt right away, and is hoping that opportunity will come at Rise FC 3, which is scheduled to take place April 13.

“I’m looking to defend this belt and I know he (Sabah Fadai) wants to keep me active,” said Maclean.

“It’s a new promotion and they don’t really have a roster built up yet, so they’re going to be bringing guys in. We’ll see what names they bring and we’ll tackle that one next.”

Mackenzie’s Debut a Success

In his long-awaited professional debut, Josh Mackenzie (now 1-0) picked up right where he left off in his undefeated amateur career, locking down the second round TKO victory over Bryce Gougeon (now 0-2).

Mackenzie had his professional debut scheduled twice before this event, with both opponents pulling out of the fight.

He said it felt great to finally get in cage again, and is thankful for Gougeon stepping to the plate.

Josh Mackenzie
Josh Mackenzie celebrates his victory at Hard Knocks 53. (Photo by Hard Knocks Fighting)

“It was either guys were too unprofessional and couldn’t make weight, or somebody gets hurt, or somebody’s a scared little bitch,” said Mackenzie in an interview.

“Gougeon was man enough to take the fight, and I can’t thank him enough for that.”

Prior to this fight, Mackenzie was familiar with what Gougeon was going to bring to the cage, having watched his fight with Mac Laursen.

But he said Gougeon came out much more calm and composed as opposed to swinging for the fences, as he was more expecting.

“Gougeon took two years off and obviously that paid off. He tightened up his game. He’s a game fighter,” said Mackenzie.

“His record may be 0-2, but his record doesn’t define who he is. That’s one tough mother f$#@!$.”

In the main event, Darwin Douglas (now 6-6) returned after nearly four years away from the cage to knockout Greg Large (now 2-13) in the first round of their heavyweight contest.

Brodie Dabb, Aaron Blanchette, Damon Marlow, and Saeid Mirzaei were also victorious on the card.