It could very well be the biggest fight in Canadian MMA.
At Rise FC 3 on April 13th, 2019, bantamweight Champion Craig Maclean will put his title on the line when he takes on Flyweight Champion Chad Anheliger. Although the two fought on the same card at Rise FC 2, “The Cookie Monster” didn’t think the two would cross paths until recently. But when you’re offered one side of a monumental Canadian MMA fight like this one, it became a big reason why Maclean took the fight.
“I thought it was something that could happen. I had him on my radar for a little bit, and with us fighting on the same card I thought it was a possibility,” Maclean said. “I think a lot of people because he was in flyweight they assumed he was in a different weight division but I think he belongs at flyweight but he has fought at bantamweight. The biggest factor in my accepting the fight is the fact that he was ranked number nine at bantamweight in Canada. I was given two possible offers and I chose him because he was higher ranked. I just think it is a good matchup. He is a good opponent. It is going to be a tough fight but I see myself coming out on top.”
The fight is just a few weeks away and Maclean is more than ready for the fight. The Champion should have a size advantage over his opponent, however, he doesn’t spend too much energy on that, nor does he think that will matter. Ultimately, for him, it is just another fight that he is confident he has what it takes to win.
Maclean is beaming with confidence and is bred by the fact that he has had an amazing training camp between Revolution Langley & WKX Kickboxing. After his previous fights’ training camp provided challenges, Maclean is more than happy with how everything turned out this time around.
“It has been probably the best camp I have had in a long time. My last fight, that camp was probably my worst, I had a lot of issues. This one I have adjusted and really changed some things up. The focus is on being great. Just a fact that it is a big fight I am very dedicated to it.”
Something that Maclean does possess is knockout power. He has delivered three first-round knockouts in his career and believes Anheliger hasn’t been hit with anything like it before. He knows in a 25- minute fight, if he lands a few clean shots, it will be all over for Anheliger. Maclean has all the reasons to believe he will remain the Bantamweight King.
“I have not only three first-round knockouts but three first minute knockouts,” Maclean explained. “You don’t see a lot of guys at Bantamweight who are able to do that. It is a factor and if I land she clean shots in a 25-minute fight, I will be able to put him out.”
Although the fight is considered a classic ‘Superfight’ by definition, Maclean is treating it like any other outing. For him, to have this extra pressure of being in a massive fight fighting in a Co-Main Event slot is something he relishes and was not about to let the opportunity fall to the waist side.
“I thrive on it. I like being at the top of the card whether it be the co-main or main event. I belong at the top of the card. My goal is to go further and fight in the big shows, so if we are fighting at the top of the card we are the guys probably going to the big show. It is just another big fight but obviously the biggest fight of my career so far. I just go in like I prepare every time but it does mean more to me. I don’t feel that pressure. I feel like I am defiantly equipped to handle it and go out there and get this W.”
Maclean is more than confident he will win the fight. What he isn’t sold on, is exactly how it will all play out. He expects the fight should be a back-and-forth affair. While neither of the two has seen Championship rounds, Maclean is more than ready for it. He knows his cardio can last a 25-minute fight & is quite confident Anheliger’s can too.
But, Maclean believes the fight won’t need the judge’s scorecards at the end of the day.
“I can see it a going a number of different ways. He is a tough opponent,” Maclean explained. “I could see me catching him early or it is a long fight. That experience you get from fighting in championship rounds is valuable. I have never been to rounds four or five at the professional level. That is something that will help my career. Of course, we always go into a fight hoping for a finish. I will say, I don’t see it going to the distance.”
For now, Maclean is winding down his fight camp. The Lower Mainland product is ready to once again showcase his skills, understanding what a win here can really do to propel his career. As fight night approaches, Maclean is confident, believing he will be ready & prepared for anything.
Maclean concluded by saying “I will be comfortable no matter where the fight goes whether we go to the ground or keep it striking.”
The show goes down April 13th 2019 in Chilliwack, British Columbia, live on FiteTV.
For ticket info visit www.RiseFC.ca/tickets.