This one could be over quick.
Powell River’s Nicolas Ouellet (2-0) will defend his BFL amateur lightweight title for the first time when he welcomes Chilliwack’s Kolton Higginbottom (9-6) back to the BFL cage at BFL 64 in Coquitlam, B.C. on Saturday night.
Although his jiu-jitsu was his bread and butter in his first two fights, Ouellet, 23, said he’s confident in his abilities to finish this contest in several forms.
“I can see myself landing a few good shots on the feet and the fight will probably end up on the ground at some point, whether it’s me taking him down or him trying to take me down,” said Ouellet in an interview.
“I’m looking to take the submission, but obviously if the knockout’s there, I’ll take it. I’m just looking for the finish; that’s what it’s all about.”
With six of his amateur wins coming before the final bell, four knockouts and two submissions, Higginbottom, 30, is no stranger to stepping out of the cage early.
Higginbottom said Saturday night he’s fully expecting to add another finish to his record, and said there’s only one way the fight is going to end.
“I think I’m going to knock him out in the first round. That’s how confident I feel,” said Higginbottom in an interview.
“He’s going to come in with his sloppy wrestling, and I’m just going to punch him in the face.”
Ouellet won the title back at BFL 61 where he submitted Manny Fernandez with an inverted triangle in the first round.
With this being his first title defence, Ouellet said he’s eager to show he’s the champion for a reason and show his game is ready for the next level.
“This means the world to me. I really want to prove why I’m the champion,” said Ouellet.
“I really want to show these amateurs why I deserve to be in the professional leagues.”
Ouellet’s title win against Fernandez was a near-flawless performance, much like his amateur debut where he also picked up a first round submission win.
But despite the near-perfect result his last time out, Ouellet said there were still some areas of his game he was able to dissect, and believes they’ll make him even more dangerous moving forward.
“I want to be a bit more patient in this fight,” said Ouellet.
I’m not going to try and get him out of there right away; I’m going to try and get comfortable in there, take my time, and pick him apart.”
Competition is Competition
Higginbottom enters Saturday night’s matchup coming off a four-year layoff, due largely to his endeavours as a professional bull rider where he had been competing on a circuit throughout Western Canada and Washington.
And while he may not have been competing in MMA during that time, Higginbottom believes competing as a professional bull rider has made him much stronger mentally, which he said will help him in the cage.
“When I was riding bulls, I was riding two or three bulls on the weekend, so now that I’m back fighting, everything should fall into place a little easier,” said Higginbottom.
“It’s going to help with the pre-fight jitters because I’m used to competition and being up against something.”
Higginbottom will be looking to claim his second title in as many promotions, having won the Warpath MMA amateur welterweight title back in 2014.
He said coming away with his second amateur title on Saturday night would be the perfect way to cap off a long, successful amateur career.
“This will be my last amateur fight, and I will be looking to sign my first professional contract,” said Higginbottom.
“It would mean a lot because my amateur career has been so long, and I think another title would just be the icing on the cake that I’m ready for the next level.”
“I’d like to thank my whole team, especially my brother Raphael, Nelson Spreeuw, Michael Hill, Matt Venditti from Hiit and Quit Fitness, my girlfriend Deidra, and the whole Powell River BJJ team.” Follow Ouellet on social media: FACEBOOK, INSTAGRAM