After recently winning the BFL middleweight title, Dejan Kajic is hungry for more.
Coquitlam’s Kajic (10-7-2, 1 NC) now has his sights set on the 175-pound BFL strap, and will battle Oregon’s Eric McConico Jr. (4-0-1) for the hardware in the co-main event of BFL 61 on Saturday night in Coquitlam, B.C.
Although the status of being a two-weight champion would mean a lot to him, Kajic said he doesn’t feel any added nerves.
“Personally and resume-wise, it means something to me, but it doesn’t put any extra pressure on the fight,” said Kajic.
“I’d like to be a double champ; it looks good on the resume and looks good for my career.”
Kajic holds a significant experience edge over McConico Jr., having four times the amount of professional fights to his name.
While McConico Jr. is still undefeated, Kajic said his opponent has yet to face anyone with the experience he has, and said it will play a big factor come fight night.
“He’s probably coming in with lots of confidence thinking that he’s good. He’s definitely not an easy fight, but he also hasn’t fought anybody that good,” said Kajic.
“My experience, my ability not to get hit, and my intelligence is definitely going to play a factor in this fight. I’m looking to take him into deeper waters, I’m looking to test his cardio, and I’m looking to test his ground game. I’m looking to test everything.”
Other than his draw, McConico Jr. was dominant in all four of his professional victories, finishing all four of his opponents.
Kajic said McConico Jr. has yet to face much adversity in his professional career, and he plans to change that.
“It’s easy to shine when it’s a sunny day. It’s easy to stay positive and smile when s**t goes your way,” said Kajic.
“He’s going to have to test his mental toughness and his ability to overcome things. There’s always adversity in fights, and when you haven’t faced it, you don’t know how you’re going to react.”
McConico Jr. Coming in Hot
Dating back to his amateur career, McConico Jr., 29, is undefeated in his last nine fights, which includes seven stoppages.
While his run of dominance alone would be enough to boost morale, McConico Jr. said the real confidence comes from his preparation.
“Preparation equals success. I prepare for every fight; I don’t take a day off,” said McConico Jr.
“This is my lifestyle, so that’s really where my confidence comes from.”
For the second time in his career, McConico Jr. will be making the trip to Coquitlam from Oregon to compete in the BFL cage, also coming into enemy territory.
But despite his role of the villain coming into Kajic’s hometown, McConico Jr. said none of that matters once the cage door closes.
“At the end of the day, we’re fighting. It doesn’t matter where we are,” said McConico Jr.
“We could fight in a back alley; at the end of the day it’s still a fight. His hometown or my hometown, we still have to go in there and fight.”
While he did win multiple titles to close out his amateur career, this will be McConico Jr.’s first look at a title shot as a professional.
With the amount of time and effort he and his family invest into the sport, he said bringing the belt back to Oregon would mean everything to him.
“Me and my family have sacrificed a lot for me to do this, plus countless hours of blood, sweat, and tears in the gym,” said McConico Jr.
“It would mean a lot and I’m going to leave it all out there.”