Ottawa, Ont.’s Mateo Vogel (5-2) tests skills with Powell River, B.C.’s Nicolas Ouellet (2-0) for BFL featherweight gold at BFL 72. This transpires Thursday night at the Harbour Convention Centre in Vancouver, B.C. The broadcast is set for UFC Fight Pass.
The bout will be Vogel’s first title shot of his professional career, an opportunity he feels is a long-time-coming.
Vogel, 26, said the BFL title is something that would be emblematic of the last several years of his progression as a martial artist.
“It would be the accumulation of my hard work for the past four years. We’ve been grinding for four years straight, man. Been grinding in MMA for four years straight,” said Vogel in an interview with MMA Empire.
“We’ve had so many people who didn’t want to fight me, so many people legitimately refused to fight me. I’ve had long layoffs and we just kept training, kept grinding. We joke at the gym that the amount of fight camps I’ve done is hilarious in comparison to the amount of actual fights I’ve had. To finally have this title shot after five years, it means so much.”
With a well-regarded jiu-jitsu acumen, Vogel has made a huge leap in his striking and overall MMA game in the last couple of years. He credits this to his strength of schedule and being galvanized by moments of adversity.
“I was fortunate enough to fight a few times over the pandemic. The last couple of fights were both tough ones, but I’m thankful for that. I’m thankful they were tough fights because when they put me in uncomfortable waters almost, it forced me to make gains real quick in areas that weren’t really my expertise previously,” said Vogel.
“Being kind of dragged into the fire against Garrett Armfield, getting outboxed, getting outperformed by Da’Mon Blackshear by a very slim margin. But yeah those fights were both super, super tough and they forced me to grow so, so quickly. I don’t think people are taking that into account or that people even know that.”