Deciding who to fight on Saturday’s Battlefield Fight League’s card was easy for the North Okanagan’s Ryan Allen – he wanted whoever was the tougher opponent available.
When contacted by BFL to compete on the mixed martial arts (MMA) card, Allen was given the choice of two opponents, and he chose the one who looked to give him the greatest challenge.
This is Allen’s second fight with BFL. He won his amateur debut in January in a matter of seconds with a flurry of strikes.
Allen, who is on the verge of receiving his purple belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu from Gracie Barra Vernon, will meet Seattle’s Hunter Orgill (2-2) on the Wesbild Centre card.
The two will meet in the 205-pound amateur card. Orgill is stepping up in weight, having fought previously at 185.
“I feel confident in my ground game for sure,” said Allen, who has been training with Gracie Barra Vernon blackbelts Mario Deveault and Dave Rothwell.
“I’ll start standing up, but they (coaches) want me to take it too the ground a little quicker. They have confidence in my ground game.”
That confidence got a boost in February when Allen won the B.C. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Championships in his division and the open class.
“The competition is why I’m doing it,” said Allen, who is mulling the possibility of a professional career in cage fighting. “I would like to go pro because the competition is harder.”
It was that drive to compete that prompted Allen to choose the tougher opponent.
“I have played lots of team sports, but with MMA, it is one-on-one. In the end, it is just you and one other guy,” he said.
Both Deveault and Rothwell have plenty of international BJJ competition experience and while Gracie Barra Vernon is not an MMA club, both stepped up to help Allen get ready for the fight.
“He’ll be tough for anybody on the ground right now,” said Deveault. “His stand-up has improved since his last fight, which he won by TKO. If Ryan wants to take it to the ground, it will go the ground.”
Allen, who earned the nickname Rhino because of his raw power, will be among three amateur bouts and eight professional scraps.
The main event features Matt Baker (6-2) vs. Marcus Vinicios (5-6).
Tickets are available through Ticketseller, (www.ticketseller.ca) and at the Vernon Performing Arts Centre box office.