It’s official. Marlan “Pretty Boy” Hall is now a professional mixed martial arts (MMA) fighter in the Battlefield Fight League (BFL).
The 24-year-old Oliver native, and new Penticton resident, has signed a four-fight contract with the league on Aug. 5, with his debut professional fight taking place on Nov. 16 at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam. Sponsored by the Osoyoos Indian Band, Valley Hemp and the Bike Barn, he said he’s ready to prove he has what it takes to go all the way.
“When I signed, I told them I’m going to be the biggest star they’ve ever had,” said Hall. “That’s a promise from me to the league.”
The biggest difference between Hall’s amateur career in the league and his new professional one is that now he has the opportunity to win money alongside his titles. This means that he is beginning to transition so that he can fully support himself while he pursues his passion.
“It’s a little bit scary and I get a little bit anxious over it, but this is what I’ve worked for my entire life,” said Hall.
Hall explained that he’s obligated to fulfill the contract by March 2021, and, barring any injuries, he doesn’t see that being a problem. He said on average, it takes him two to three months to bounce back and get back into the ring.
“My goal is to be 2-and-0 before I’m 25, so I have until April,” laughed Hall. “Eventually my goal is to become a world champion in the BFL and then, that’s when I can move onto the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). There’s guys (in BFL) who have been signed (to the UFC) at 6-and-0 and 7-and-1, so it’s usually around six to eight fights for these guys.”
Hall said while he doesn’t know who he’ll be matched up with, he’s not overly worried and plans to just focus on his training. He said he’s had his eye on some of the local professional fighters in the league and believes they will be worthy adversaries, but stills feels confident that he’ll be able to beat them.
“They can call any gym and just ask any fighter that they want, either a professional or maybe an amateur that wants to go professional, so they’ll be making a lot of calls,” said Hall. “They’ll find someone around my experience level, but they won’t throw me in the deep end with someone who is like seven wins and no losses.”
Hall left behind the amateur division the featherweight champion, with a record-setting 10 wins and three losses. His last amateur fight, held on March 17 at the Hard Rock Casino, was over at 1:58 in the first round when he pinned challenger Casey O’Leary. Over the summer he’s been participating in fight camps and training shark tank-style, where he spars for five five-minute rounds with five different opponents.
“So by the fifth round, I’m dead tired and there’s a fresh guy punching you, it’s very enjoyable,” joked Hall. “I thought I was going to take some time over the summer, but I just wanted to get onward with it and pursue it. You don’t want to sit out too long.”
Hall said he is looking to gain more sponsors on his professional fighting career, and that those interested can contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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