Despite having only seven fights combined between them, Justin Doege and Caio Machado are no strangers to big stages.
Kelowna’s Doege (2-1) will look to add a second belt to his collection when he meets Vancouver’s Machado (2-1-1) in the main event of BFL 64 with the BFL heavyweight title on the line Saturday night in Coquitlam, B.C.
In just his second professional fight, Doege, 25, claimed his first career title, knocking out Craig Hudson at XFFC 20 to win the XFFC heavyweight title.
Doege said having the opportunity to win his second belt in just his fourth professional fight could be massive for his career and, if successful, could turn a lot of heads his way.
“It’s huge. Anytime you can double up straps so early in a career it definitely puts eyes on you,” said Doege in an interview.
“I’m ready for this. The way I train and my mentality is I respect everyone in Canada, but I should hold myself to a higher rank. I don’t want to get in these close fights with these guys in Canada; I want to be dominant.”
Machado, 25, fell just short in his first title fight, dropping a unanimous decision to Dustin Joynson back at BFL 58.
He would go on, however, to bounce back in tremendous fashion, knocking out Dalton Duperreault in the first round at BFL 60, a performance he believes earned him a second crack at heavyweight gold so quickly.
“I showed against Dalton that I had energy, I had power, and I’m hungry to keep competing and getting stronger,” said Machado in an interview.
“I believe that’s why I got a chance so quickly, and winning this fight would put me at 3-1-1, which is really good for a heavyweight around here, and would be my ticket for the next level.”
Rebound Time For Doege
Doege enters Saturday’s matchup coming off his first career loss, a first round knockout at the hands of Terrence Spina at Rise FC 3.
In the time since the loss, Doege said he put his game under a microscope and took a deep dive into the areas he needed to work on, a process he said is going to benefit him in a big way come fight night.
“That loss changed a lot in my career. Even things I necessarily didn’t do bad in the fight, I’ve worked at making them better,” said Doege.
“I really dissected my whole game and was honest with myself on what I needed to work on. Every aspect of my game benefited from that fight, but it just sucked it had to happen that way.”
So far in their careers, Doege and Machado haven’t shied away from tough fights, with Doege taking on 11-fight veterans in his first two fights and Machado squaring off with the undefeated and Contender Series prospect Joynson.
And while his adversary has seen his share of tough competition, Doege said Machado is in for a big surprise when they lock horns.
“I definitely feel he hasn’t fought someone like me yet. The best person he’s fought is Dustin Joynson, but I’m not Dustin Joynson,” said Doege.
“I hold myself to a higher rank than some people maybe, but I just know with how I’m feeling this camp he hasn’t seen anything like this before.”
So far in his four-fight career, Machado has gone the distance twice, with one of those contests being a five-round fight, while Doege has yet to go past the second round in both his professional and amateur careers.
Having been there before, Machado said if this fight does end up reaching deeper waters, he will be the one to benefit most.
“Doing three rounds is one thing, but doing five rounds is a whole different game. I’ve been there before, I’ve been training more than ever, and I know I’m ready,” said Machado.
“With Dustin, I felt I wasn’t as prepared as I am now. I think I’m in better position to fight for the five rounds.”
Machado’s last bout with Duperreault couldn’t have gone much better, a first round finish and successfully proposing to his girlfriend, and now fiancé.
But there was one significant element Machado learned from that fight, and one that has given him great confidence moving forward.
“Dalton was probably the heaviest hitter I’ve fought against, so I know now I can take those hard punches,” said Machado.
“He was big and hit like a ton of bricks, so to be able to get hit and keep going, I know I have the energy to keep fighting.”
“I’d like to give a big thank you to Chris Franco and Jayden Martin, all the fighter and students at Franco Kickboxing Pankration, and my sponsor CBD You.” Follow Machado on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM