It’s been three years in the making, but Sabah Fadai is back.
Chilliwack’s own Fadai (11-5, 1 NC) will return to the cage for his very own promotion to take on North Carolina’s D’Juan Owens (16-13-1) in the main event of Rise FC 3 Saturday night in Chilliwack, B.C.
After nearly three years since his last fight, Fadai, 33, said he feels a whole new kind of motivation to compete this time around.
“I’ve always had the fighters itch, but now I’ve got more motivation,” said Fadai.
“I’ve got a baby daughter and I’m a family man. My wife and my daughter are my biggest motivations. They’re the reasons I do it now. That’s the spark I have.”
Fadai’s comeback fight was originally scheduled to be for the vacant Rise FC lightweight title against Curtis Demarce, but Demarce was forced out of the contest due to injury.
While he said he’s grateful for Owens stepping up and saving the main event, Fadai said he wasn’t pleased with the way the Demarce bout unraveled.
“Demarce had more than two months notice for the fight. He decided to take another fight with BTC and pulled out four days before that fight with an apparent knee injury. Then, we see videos of him training with Jesse Arnett, which is a slap in our face,” said Fadai.
“D’Juan Owens is the man. He stepped up on two weeks notice and I expect to have a great fight with him. There’s going to be a lot of experience in that cage.”
Having 17 professional fights under his belt, Fadai has seen it all inside the cage and has adapted to many different styles.
Not knowing too much of what Owens is going to bring to the cage, Fadai said a lot of what he does in the cage Saturday night will be based off what he sees from Owens.
“I consider myself a well-rounded fighter. I can keep the fight standing or I can take it to the ground. On the top or on the bottom, it doesn’t matter to me,” said Fadai.
“But not knowing much about D’Juan, I have to feel him out inside the cage and find out what he’s all about and what his game plan is first. I just need to learn who he is inside that cage.”
Owens Looking to Bounce Back
Owens, 33, enters Saturday’s main event coming off the toughest loss of his career in the biggest fight of his career.
He said the defeat was one of the toughest experiences he’s had to endure mentally, and is looking forward to the opportunity to bounce back.
“There’s no other way to put it; it broke my heart. I was devastated,” said Owens.
“I don’t want to use the term depression loosely, but I feel like I slipped into a post-fight type of depression. Once this opportunity came about, it was the perfect situation; it was the perfect timing.”
Throughout his career, Owens has shown he can do it all inside the cage, with four finishes through his striking and six via submissions.
Owens said he doesn’t feel there’s one specific area he’ll have the advantage over Fadai, but feels the way he combines all his skills together will be his strongest asset.
“I think I have an advantage in most places, but I think the biggest advantage will be putting it all together,” said Owens.
“He’s got decent striking and he’s got decent grappling, but I just think the art of MMA for me is just better.”
Having just fought this past August, Owens does hold the edge in recent cage time, also having four other fights in the time Fadai has been away from the cage.
But despite this being Fadai’s first fight in nearly three years, Owens said he’s not counting on cage rust affecting his opponent’s performance.
“I’m expecting him to be sharp. It’s the main event, it’s his promotion and he wants to make a statement,” said Owens.
“I know he’s training his ass off and I’m expecting the best version of him, but I just don’t think that version’s going to be good enough. I just want to go out there, put on a show, and let him know there’s levels to this s**t.”
“I’d like to thank Flash Cryptocurrency, Mountainview Harley Davidson, Sovrin Extracts, Timbro Contracting, Fuel Motorsports, Clark’s Audio Visual, Indigenous Boom, all my training partners, my wife for being the rock she is.”
“I’d like to thank Cageside MMA and Toro BJJ, my coaches and training partners, and everyone who supports me.”
Fight preview brought to you by Skookum Yardscapes.