With a combined 42 professional fights, Cody Krahn and Michael Hill both know what it takes to leave the cage with a victory.
But only one of them will do so Friday night.
Krahn (16-12) will make the trip from Edmonton to meet Hill (9-4-1), fighting out of Powell River, B.C., in the cage for a middleweight bout at XFFC 17 in Grande Prairie, Alta.
Although Hill has only been finished once in his career, Krahn said he believes he has what it takes to put him away when the time comes.
“Michael’s got a chin, and he’s proven he can go the distance, but I’ve been refining my striking and have a lot more power in my punches, so I think I can knock out anybody,” said Krahn in an interview.
“I’m a bigger guy than he’s fought and I don’t think he’s fought a type of striker like me, so I think it’ll surprise him.”
While he prefers to keep the fight standing, Krahn said he’s been working on plenty of wrestling, takedown defence, and fighting off his back in his training camp at Frank Lee’s.
If he’s able to keep the fight on the feet and perform the way he intends to, Krahn said this may be a fight for the ages.
“I want to make this a good Forrest Griffin vs Stephan Bonnar kind of fight where we’re just going at each other,” said Krahn.
“I think I showed my last fight with Jeff Porter that I’ve improved as a striker, and I think I’m going to prove that further in this fight. And I hope it shows.”
Krahn was previously offered this fight with Hill in a past event, but on too short of notice.
When it was re-offered this time around, he jumped at the opportunity.
“I know he’s a gritty guy and likes to throw down, so it’s a fight I’ve always been interested in.”
Hill Tangles With the Best
Throughout his career, Hill, 30, has fought nothing but top-level opponents, many of whom were UFC-caliber fighters, and also competed on season 16 of The Ultimate Fighter.
He’s also fought almost all of his opponents in their hometown, coming in as the bad guy. But he said he’s always looking to challenge himself against the best, and will do so yet again versus Krahn.
“I like the tough fights. I always want to fight the best fighters, and showcase my skill set against the best,” said Hill in an interview.
“Cody Krahn will be no different. He’s a dangerous fighter and he’s tough. If I want to be the best, I have to beat the best.”
While his usual gyms are Island MMA and Island Top Team, Hill decided to take his training camp to Thailand for this fight, where he honed his skills at the famous Tiger Muay Thai in Phuket for seven weeks.
He said his original plan when he arrived in Thailand was to train traditional muay thai, but instead went right to work with Tiger Muay Thai and “didn’t look back.”
“I’ve always wanted to fully immerse myself in the fight culture that is Thailand, and completely put my focus into strictly training and the fight ahead of me,” said Hill
“I feel more prepared than ever, and I feel like I’m finally firing on all cylinders again.”
Through the skills he learned at Tiger Muay Thai and the already strong skill set he boasted prior to this training camp, Hill said he will be too much for Krahn when it’s all said and done.
Although he’s gone the distance his last six fights, Hill said he’s expecting that streak to end on Friday.
“He’s going to be dangerous for the first couple minutes of each round, but once I start hitting him with hard shots and putting the pressure on him, he’s going to slip up,” said Hill.
“I definitely see me putting him away before the third round.”