Chilliwack’s Sabah Fadai headlines a mixed martial arts event coming to the Landing Sports Centre Saturday night.
Fadai takes on D’Juan Owens in one of two main-event matches at Rise Fighting Championship 3. Langley native Craig Maclean faces Chad Anheliger in the other marquee matchup as the men battle for a bantamweight championship.
“I have been fighting since 2007 all over the world in places like Singapore and the Philippines,” said Fadai, who lived in the Philippines for four years studying dentistry before deciding his true passion was MMA. “I pursued professional MMA and reached the ranking of third place in Canada.”
Fadai dreams of competing at the top levels of UFC, Bellator or One FC.
He also believes in controlling his own destiny, which is why he’s not just an RFC competitor.
He created and runs the promotion.
“I started Rise Fighting Championship to not only take care of our local athletes and put on some of the best competition our fans have ever seen but also to make my own dreams come true as other promoters never once had my best intentions at heart,” he said. “I was tired of being mistreated by every shady promoter who only cared about what went into their pockets at the end of the night.”
“So here we are, not only trying to help our athletes but also to bring awareness towards the legitimacy of mixed martial arts as a professional sport like basketball and hockey.”
The location of RFC 3 is significant.
Fadai says the City of Chilliwack has imposed a ban on hosting MMA events at municipal facilities the last 13 years.
MMA events have been held in Chilliwack, usually at Tzeachten Hall, but getting the green light from City Hall is, in Fadai’s eyes, a big step forward for the sport.
“If the City approves us, I think it is time that the people of Chilliwack also take the initiative to understand our sport, and I assure you they will like it,” he said.
Chilliwack’s Jamie Siraj is a guy to watch as he takes on Gabe Sagman. Siraj is ranked top 10 in Canada and is on the cusp of reaching the big time.
“He is young and very talented and not only has he been a friend of mine for many years but we have also been training together for many years,” Fadai said. “It makes me so happy and proud to have him as a part of this organization and give him a platform to showcase his skills and advance his career as a professional MMA fighter.”
Other main-card bouts have Lupita Godinez versus Kyla Frajman, Justin Doege versus Terrence Spina and Saeid Mirzaei versus Killian Estes.
The night also includes four under-card fights.
Jorge Alcala takes on Josh Kwiatkowski, Vicente Mabanta faces Axel Kardiman, Joey Foy clashes with Terrence Jeffers and Manny Fernandez battles Brodie Dabb.
Tickets range in price from $35-75 and can be purchased online at risefc.ca.
Doors open at 4 p.m. with the first fight at 6 p.m..