Royal Dragon Leader

Noah Ali Talks Unified 33: “Don’t Blink!”

EDMONTON — Noah “The Chosen Defender” Ali is in a do-or-die situation.

The dynamic Calgary, Alta., product will fight Edmonton’s Michael Hay for the vacant Unified MMA Bantamweight Championship on Dec. 15 in Edmonton.

“This fight is extremely important,” Ali says. “That belt would mean the world to me, and a win would go a long way in getting me to the UFC. A loss, on the other hand, really hurts my chances.

“There’s a lot at stake, and I’m excited to rise to the occasion.”

Ali respects Hay, who’s riding high with four straight first-round finishes. But he takes his opponent’s recent string of impressive victories with a grain of salt.

“He’s never fought anyone like me,” Ali says. “Michael has looked great in his recent fights, for sure, but he hasn’t been in there with a fighter like myself.”

Ali plans on “dragging Hay into deep waters,” and giving the fans at least a couple rounds of action. Fight Night in “The City of Champions,” he says, can’t come soon enough.

“I plan on making a lot of waves in 2018, and there’s no better way to kick that off then to close out 2017 with a big win in a huge fight like this,” Ali says with a smile. “Don’t blink; this is going to be a great show.”

Unified 33, which goes down Dec. 15 in Edmonton, also features UFC vet Shane Campbell as he defends his Lightweight Championship in a rematch with Stephen Beaumont, and a Light-Heavyweight Championship bout between Jared McComb and challenger Teddy Ash. The card will also feature, among other returning favourites, Neal Anderson, Nick Hrabec, Christian Larsen and Matt Spisak,