The champions held their ground on Friday night at BFL 67 in Vancouver, B.C.
In the main event, Caio Machado (now 5-1-1) earned the first round TKO victory over Unified MMA heavyweight champion Christian Larsen (now 5-2) to successfully defend his BFL heavyweight title once again.
Machado was in trouble early, having been rocked multiple times by the much bigger Larsen, but was able to withstand the early barrage and land a clean left hook of his own that put Larsen down.
“Honestly, that was the hardest punch I’ve ever taken in a fight. I don’t ever remember being rocked that way,” said Machado in an interview with MMA Empire.
“It was a good one and I have a very strong chin, so it was only a matter of time before I got that punch. Once I felt the punch, I got a little bit worried, so I knew I had to move a little bit more. I don’t think it ever took me out of the fight; I was always 100 per cent in the fight the whole time. I just realized I had to be a little more cautious and keep my distance a bit more.”
Coming into fight week, Machado and Larsen were two of Canada’s top-ranked heavyweights outside the UFC.
With Machado coming out on top in convincing fashion, he said he believes he’s ready to make the jump to the big leagues, and has a fellow Canadian UFC roster fighter he’d like to fight.
“I want my shot. I want my shot in the UFC. I feel like I’ve proved myself on the local scene. The only fight I’ve lost was to Dustin Joynson, one of the top heavyweights in Canada and fighting for ONE right now,” said Machado.
“With this fight, it’s a statement that I’m the best heavyweight fighter in Canada and I deserve a shot. That’s why I wanted to fight Chris Larsen because I knew whoever won the fight would get a shot. And who knows, maybe Larsen’s training partner, Tanner Boser, would be a good fight for me. If he wants revenge for his friend, I’m here for him.”
In the co-main event, Dejan Kajic (now 13-7-2) continued to prove why age is just a number, scoring the first round TKO finish of undefeated prospect Kyran Cameron (now 5-1) and coming away with the BFL welterweight title.
Kajic said patience and timing are always key components to his game plan, and he executed those aspects once again last night.
“Like I say, I just take my time. I analyze and then I set him up with a hand going around the guard, the loopy right hand, then I saw him adjust to it and put the next one right down the middle,” said Kajic.
“I lined it up, saw the opening, didn’t hesitate and the rest was history. After that, I did what I do best, which is finish fights.”
At 36 years old, the time must be now for Kajic to make a run at a bigger promotion, whether it be UFC, Bellator, One Championship or PFL.
Kajic said he believes he’s done everything right to receive the call, and it’s just a waiting game at this point.
“I don’t want to sound cocky, but you can’t deny a winner. You have to win and you have to finish fights, and that’s what I’ve done,” said Kajic.
“I think I’ve put myself in a good position to get the phone call, but it’s something you can’t control. I don’t get my hopes up until the phone call happens.”
In a fight where Powell was in control on top for the majority of the fight, the result went in favour of Sinagoga via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28), a result sparking much controversy in the aftermath of the fight.
Powell and his team are moving forward with an appeal of the result and he said the result is not a good look for the B.C. Athletic Commission.
“The only word I have on my mind about last night’s events is disgust. I truly believe the B.C. Athletic Commission lacked integrity last night. Out of town fighters were treated like s**t from start to end of the event. The judging of my fight was the cherry on top. My team will be appealing the decision and looking to make an investigation,” said Powell in an interview with MMA Empire.
“It’s a shame because the commission is making the BFL organization look like a joke in Canada at the moment. An organization can say ‘we have no control over this,’ but they are affecting the image of the promotion and how serious Canada’s fighting community are taking them. It would be in the promotion’s best interest, and anyone with integrity for the sports, to support this appeal. If we don’t speak up, the sport will stay corrupted.”
In other action, Ivan Hryshcuk, Justin Doege, Gio Platon, Nicolas Ouellet, Taylor Christopher, Jonathan Broad, Mike McAloon, and Jackie Maclean all left victorious, while Bryce Gougeon and Stuart Deleurme fought to a majority draw.