It was an unexpected pleasant surprise.
With just two combined MMA fights between them, New Westminster’s Jason Giroux (0-1) and Vancouver’s Oguzhan Yalçin (0-1) will square off in an amateur featherweight bout in the main event of BFL 62 on Saturday night in Richmond, B.C.
When he was told he was going to be in the main event slot, Giroux, 20, said he was no less than shocked.
“I almost s**t my pants. I thought they were messing with me,” said Giroux in an interview.
“My coach told me and I didn’t even believe him until I saw the Battlefield post.”
Despite only the one MMA fight to his name, Giroux has been training since a young age in all areas of the game.
With the work he puts in on a daily basis at Titan MMA, Giroux believes he holds the edge over Yalçin everywhere.
“I have a submission and grappling background, I do 10th Planet jiu-jitsu, I’m a purple belt under Nabil Salameh, and I do striking with Ken Tran,” said Giroux.
“I feel wherever this fight takes place, it doesn’t matter. I’m still going to fu**ing batter the guy and it’s not going to make a difference what he wants to do to me.”
While his single MMA fight might lead to a first impression of inexperience, Giroux has a lengthy list of jiu-jitsu matches under his belt, as well as several kickboxing fights.
And while Yalçin has a similar list in the wrestling department, Giroux believes he’s the more experienced fighter when it comes to overall competition.
“I’ve felt the actual nerves of having a big crowd at Battlefield watching me and being able to deal with that,” said Giroux.
“Over time, I’ve gotten a lot better at dealing with performing in front of people.”
One area Yalçin, 22, does hold the edge over Giroux is in the wrestling department, having competed on a national and worldwide stage and also having been crowned the Turkish junior national champion three times.
But despite his impressive wrestling background, Yalçin said he’s not expecting to have to rely on it too often on Saturday night.
“In the end, it’s totally a different game. You have to create your game from zero,” said Yalçin in an interview.
“It’ll help with certain situations, but that’s all.”
One area Yalçin said he’s looking to be a little more active and gain more experience in his second amateur fight is in the stand-up realm.
He said his debut fight was contested primarily on the mat, and said he’s hoping this matchup with Giroux will allow him to test his striking.
“I want to spend a little more time on my feet. We’ll see how it goes, but I’m not going to waste my takedowns or my grappling game for sure,” said Yalçin.
“If it goes to the ground, I will just finish him up earlier in the first round. Otherwise, I can finish him on the feet too.”
Much like his opponent, Yalçin was surprised and honoured to be the final fight of the night.
Yalçin said knowing he’s competing in the main event has provided him with an extra boost of motivation and drive for his training camp.
“It was a little unexpected to be main event, but it definitely gives you that extra motivation and fires you up even more.”