Abbotsford’s Gagan Gill has matured under the bright lights of Mamba Fight Night, and on Saturday (Nov. 6) he finally gets the opportunity to step into the main event spotlight.
Gill (3-1 pro record) is the headliner for the ninth edition of MFN, which takes over the Abbotsford Centre starting at 5 p.m.
The Abbotsford Senior Secondary School and University of the Fraser Valley grad takes on Winnipeg’s Kristian Bouchard (2-0) in a flyweight division pro mixed martial arts bout.
The 26-year-old has never lost at an MFN event, compiling a perfect record of 3-0 and experiencing some of the biggest moments of his young career in front of local fans.
As an amateur at MFN 3 back in 2016, he stopped Irish fighter Dario Sinagoga in the second round via rear naked choke. His first pro fight then occurred at MFN 4 in 2017, when he tapped out American Ian King in round one via guillotine choke. Most recently at MFN 8 in 2020, he defeated American Grant Gorsegner in round one via punches.
The Gorsegner fight, which took place on Jan. 31, 2020, is the last bout he’s had since the pandemic.
Gill told The News he managed to stay in shape by doing a lot more road work while gyms were closed. Since they’ve reopened he has been training hard, and said he’s ready to be back in front of fans. He doesn’t think it will be strange to be fighting in a packed arena on Saturday
“I’ve competed since I was 16 so I’m kind of used to it now,” he said. “It’s been 10 years of fighting and I’m kind of used to it. But I’m excited, it’ll be cool to get to compete again in front of fans.”
His opponent’s last fight was back on Nov. 9. 2019 and Saturday will mark almost two years without a match for Bouchard. Gill said he’s been more focused on personally preparing, but said it should be a challenging fight.
“I don’t know too much about him,” he said of Bouchard. “I watched a bit of film early on but then I leave it up to my coaches. I know he’s coming in undefeated so he doesn’t know how to lose yet. I’m expecting a tough fight.”
Only one of Gill’s pro fights and just two of his 10 amateur bouts went to the judges, he said he’s not sure what will happen on Saturday but if he can end it early, he will.
“He’s a tough guy and he can take it,” he said. “But if I can take him out early of course I’m going to do that.”
Variety of finishes is also a strength for Gill, as he’s finished fights with both his fists and both rear naked and guillotine chokes.
One of the more notable achievements in Gill’s career was capturing the Battlefield Fight League’s featherweight title back in 2018. He said his contract expired and a deal could not be reached to for him to re-sign with that organization. He vacated the title, but since then no one else has held the title. Gill said he has interest in returning to BFL and reclaiming his title.
BFL has run several shows during the pandemic and has also been featured on UFC Fight Pass.
Gill and other talent in British Columbia continued to compete and train during the pandemic, often with impressive results. Richmond’s Arjun Bhullar captured the ONE heavyweight championship back in May, Surrey’s Jeremy Kennedy has been active in Bellator and most recently Vancouver-trained fighter Loopy Godinez set a UFC record for the fastest turnaround for a fight. She fought twice in seven days for UFC in October.
Vancouver fighter Tristan Connelly also re-entered the UFC octagon back in April. It was recently announced that Connelly will be at MFN 9 and will be providing colour commentary on the FITE TV feed of the event.
Gill said a core group of trainers and coaches have helped hone a lot of the local talent.
“We get to spread out all over the Lower Mainland so we do a lot of cross training and guys come down to your gym or you go to theirs,” he said, noting it’s a small but tight-knit community. “We really help each other because there’s only a select amount of fighters and we’ve all helped each other get to that next level.”
He added that the MFN 9 card is deep and varied, with something for everyone.
“There’s good local talent in the co-main event with Buneet Bisla that’ll be a good boxing fight,” he said. “I think the pro boxing will be really good and there’s some interesting matches.”
The card is scheduled for 13 total bouts with MMA, kickboxing and boxing. Check abbynews.com before the fight for full details on the final card.
Gill said depending on how Saturday goes he would like to get back into the ring soon and has had offers from promotions in other provinces.
For more on the event, visit mfn.mambamma.com.