Samourai MMA’s inaugural event, Samourai MMA 1, could not have gone any smoother.
In the main event on Friday night, fans in attendance and those watching on PPV were treated to a five-round war between Kyle Prepolec (now 15-7) and Michael Dufort (8-4) in which Prepolec emerged as the new Samourai MMA lightweight champion after defeating Dufort via split decision.
Prepolec said he felt it was a technical battle on the feet and was also surprised at the unique challenges Dufort offered to him in the stand-up.
“During that fight, it was a whole calculated battle of who can win in the right moments, land the right things and have the better positions through the whole fight,” said Prepolec in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I didn’t think of him to be as technical as he was. He’s pretty explosive, and I kind of knew that, and it was a little unorthodox in a way. And he’s got those long ass arms, so that was a little unique. It was a really good war, that’s for sure. It was a good back and forth battle, but I think it was just the experience and patience that won that one.”
The win marks Prepolec’s first in as many tries since his UFC departure and is also his third championship belt of his career.
While the ultimate goal is to work his way back to the UFC, Prepolec said he plans on getting right back to work and see what’s offered to him in the coming months.
“It just depends who or wherever calls. Obviously, the goal is to be back in the UFC, but my coach and managers are the ones who get everything setup. I just go to work, train and get the job done,” said Prepolec.
In the co-main event, Alex Morgan (now 11-4) was near-flawless in becoming the new Samourai MMA featherweight champion, finishing Maged Hammo (now 10-6-1) with a body shot in the fourth round to earn the win.
Morgan said he knew he was in for a tough fight with Hammo, who proved challenging to put away, but eventually his well-roundedness and superiority in all facets off MMA won the day.
“I was expecting a good fight. The guy said he was going to push the pace, try to get the centre of the cage, put pressure on me and try to knock me down in my own game. But he couldn’t get in,” said Morgan in an interview with MMA Empire.
“I setup my pace and the guy wasn’t able to get in the zone. Every time he was trying to get in the zone I was hitting him. I think I have more technical skills than him and I outclassed him in the fight for that reason.”
Morgan has now won two straight fights and four of his last five with his only defeat coming to UFC fighter Charles Jourdain. Additionally, Morgan holds two knockout wins over current UFC fighter TJ Laramie.
Currently one of Canada’s top featherweights not currently in the UFC, Morgan said he feels it’s his time to receive the call to the big stage and he feels he has the skills to be successful there.
“I really feel like my place is in the UFC. I placed number one in Canada and this guy (Hammo) was number two and I really outclassed him,” said Morgan.
“I know I’ve been ready for a long time to go in the UFC. Nobody wants to fight me on the local scene, even in the U.S.A. because I’m too dangerous for their local guys. Let’s go to the big league and just take anyone. I’m ready for it. I think I proved I have a lot of skills and I’m really ready for the big league.”
Strahinja Gavrilovic, Frederik Dupras, Maxime Poulin and Pierre Thivierge were also victorious on the evening.