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Monday, February 8, 2016

SASKATCHEWAN MMA ROUND-UP

Aiemann Zahabi (5-0)
By: Cord Crowthers

Just when it seemed the roster of fighters could not get any better, Prestige FC has added another high-profile bout to its lineup for Prestige FC 2: Queen City Coronation presented by SUBWAY® Restaurants and 104.9 The Wolf.

Two white-hot prospects will collide in a bantamweight showdown as Tristar product Aiemann Zahabi (5-0) looks to keep his undefeated record intact against upset-minded Kyle Oliveira (3-1).

Their bout further deepens an already stacked main card that takes place on Saturday, March 12th at the George Reed Auditorium inside The Orr Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan. The event also airs live on The Fight Network as well as on Access 7 in Saskatchewan.

Zahabi is developing into an elite-level fighter under the tutelage of his older brother and head coach Firhas Zahabi at the renowned Tristar Training Centre in Montreal. Firhas will be in Aiemann’s corner for the Prestige FC bout. Countless big-name talents represent the Tristar gym, though none more hailed than former UFC welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre.

“I’m happy that Prestige FC has invited me to fight on their show against a skilled opponent,” said Zahabi. “This fight against Kyle Oliveira will be my toughest to date which motivates me that much more.”

Zahabi has finished all his five victories inside the opening round including his most-recent back-to-back knockout wins that totaled all of 2:54. In his last outing, the 28-year-old blasted Jeremy Dichiara in only 18 seconds. Prior to those knockout wins, Zahabi captured three consecutive submission wins including one via punches in a total time of less than nine minutes.

His debut in Prestige FC will be his first career fight outside his home province of Quebec.

Oliveira is a dangerous striker who has posted two victories by knockout. The 24-year-old from Winnipeg, Manitoba, last fought at MFC 41 and earned a unanimous decision over Corey Gower.

Oliveira will be backed by several of his Winnipeg Academy of Mixed Martial Arts teammates who are also fighting on the Prestige FC 2 event including fellow heavy-hitting bantamweight Brad Katona.

Oliveira is motivated by the notion that many people will consider him to be a sizable underdog in the fight.

“Nobody should base anything on what building you train in,” said Oliveira. “The ones that watch me and know me know I shouldn’t be considered an underdog. It was a difficult start to the year with fights falling through on me in January and February. That has me going through knockout withdrawal and I intend on remedying that.”

One of the other key bantamweight fights on the Prestige FC 2 card has undergone a change. Due to an injury, Eric Wilson has pulled out of his bout against Sean Quinn, but he has been replaced by Chris Day (3-2).

The Kelowna, B.C., product will be looking to right his ship in the wake of two straight losses but he is a dangerous foe having won all three of his bouts inside the first round including a 15-second knockout.

Updated Prestige FC 2 card:
Nick Rhoads vs. Kurt Southern – featherweight title
Jessy Miele vs. Charmaine Tweet – featherweight title
Keith Smetana vs. Devon Smith – middleweight
Curtis Demarce vs. Adam Lorenz – featherweight
Micah Brakefield vs. Mariusz Ksiazkiewicz – middleweight
Thomas Richardson vs. Sheldon Leblanc – welterweight
Aiemann Zahabi vs. Kyle Oliveira - bantamweight
Chris Day vs. Sean Quinn – bantamweight
Dan Amyotte vs. Nick Campbell – catchweight (220 lbs.)
Damian Johnston vs. Matt Zemlak – welterweight
Josh Rich vs. Brad Katona – bantamweight
Josh Goodheart vs. Dallyn Wirachowsky – lightweight
Corey Chambers vs. Ryan Wesaquate – featherweight
Ricky Guillen vs. Justin Schmit – middleweight
Myles Anderson vs. Ryan Rohovich – lightweight
Don Westman vs. Jamie Michaels – light-heavyweight

FIGHTER PROFILE: BRAD KATONA

Prestige FC, Canada’s hottest mixed martial arts promotion, is very excited have one of Canada's top prospects in action at Prestige FC 2: Queen City Coronation.

Winnipeg bantamweight Brad “KO” Katona will take on Ontario's Josh “The Ripper” Rich in the Prestige FC cage on Saturday, March 12th inside the George Reed Auditorium at The Orr Centre in Regina, Saskatchewan.

“This is very big fight which will definitely determine Canada’s best and fastest-rising young talent in the 135-pound division,” said Cord Crowthers, CEO & Matchmaker for Prestige FC.

“Brad’s reputation has made countless fighters absolutely frightened to face him. He has immense skills. Josh deserves full credit. It says a lot about him when he’s the only fighter in the country who when offered the fight didn’t hum and haw and find an excuse to decline. He immediately was all in. This fight has all the makings of a true showstealer.”

A former member of Canada’s national boxing team, Katona (2-0), who hails from Winnipeg, Manitoba, has notched a pair of first-round victories. In his pro debut, he felled Michael Hay with a body shot at MFC 41 and then followed that with a submission via guillotine choke against Myles Anderson at the inaugural Prestige FC back in October.

Rich (3-1), who fights out of Chatham, Ontario, holds two wins via submission along with a first-round knockout. The upcoming bout will be Rich’s first foray outside of the Ontario fight scene.

This fight is added to an already action-packed lineup topped by Prestige FC featherweight title bouts pitting Kurt “The Hurt” Southern against Nick “Nyquil” Rhoads, and Charmaine "Not So Sweet" Tweet against Jessy Miele.

Tickets for Prestige FC 2: Queen City Coronation are now on sale. Tickets can be purchased by calling Regina Tickets at (306) 515-4333 or in person at The Orr Centre box office.
VIP Tables & Tickets are exclusively available by calling (306) 580-0340.

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