Battlefield Fight League is a mixed martial arts promotion holding events in the province of British-Columbia Canada. It hosts both amateur and professional fighters on it's card and Micah Brakefield, a BC native and amateur fighter for BFL is working his way to the pros.
"Battle Field League is really cool, they treat us like pros and make us look like pros," Brakefield told Bleacher Report. "It's pretty cool to be part of a company that has that kind of production value."
Brakefield has been competing on the amateur circuit for a little over a year now and has compiled a record of 5-2-0. Like many fighters looking to make a solid career for themselves, Brakefield is backed up by a solid wrestling base.
"I wrestled all through high school and then college, then finished doing that and figured I'd move on," Brakefield said. "There are certain things that you would just learn in real wrestling and it teaches you good fundamentals, things you can fall back on," Brakefield continued. "Wrestling is just so hard on the body, you go twice a day everyday for eight months and it's the hardest part of any MMA camp... It takes a special person to go through wrestling."
Brakefield has the ground game to make the move to pro, and he is simply waiting for his stand up to catchup before making the jump.
"After this fight, if my stand up goes well [I'll go pro], I wanted to defend my belt once before I went pro and I did that, but I got caught on my feet and I had to sub the guy. So I just want to make sure I feel more confident on my feet."
One would think this is one of the big differences between guys fighting up the amateur ranks and the pros, that they are simply more well rounded at the professional level. Brakefield agrees to an extent, but has noticed another element that he thinks is just as important.
"People in pro are a lot calmer, I think in amateur people spaz out and they don't stay calm," Brakefield said. "I find it really easy to catch people because I've stayed pretty calm. In pro I think guys are a little more relaxed and it's going to be harder to get them out of their game."
Brakefield is a good wrestler who improves his striking and is able to remain calm in the cage. He also has the fighting spirit, often fighting in different weight classes and having fought heavyweights who are far big than himself. Brakefield will take on all comers.
"I had a fight this year at 170 and one at 265, so I kind of jump around to see what different weight classes have to offer," Brakefield said. "I took a fight on two weeks notice this year against a 6'6" 245 pound guy, I actually had to have ankle weights on when I weighed in because I had to weigh 207."
Brakefield didn't win against the big man, but it wasn't without controversy.
"The fight got stopped really early, I took the guy down and he landed 3-4 hammer fists in a row and the ref stopped it cause he thought I was hurt and I clearly wasn't."
Despite the loss, it's easy to appreciate fighters who are willing to fight outside their weight class against much bigger foes and not be scared of the challenge. Former UFC lightweight champion BJ Penn gained a lot of fans fighting guys who were bigger than him.
Brakefield is still a burgeoning amateur fighter and has a long road of hard work and dedication ahead of him. One thing I found interesting with Brakefield is that despite being an amateur, he has a long list of sponsors backing him up, something you don't normally expect for fighters at his level.
"I actually was just talking to Darcy [his manager] about this, how he is saying I am changing the way people are looking at amateurs because I have pretty good sponsors."
FVSTR, DRAKO, Dominant Ground, DANK Energy Drinks, Fine Arts Bartending, Passion Sports, CANUSA Fight Team are on the list of his current sponsors and he is currently managed by Echelon Fighter Management.
Brakefield is fighting this Saturday at BFL 13 in Vernon, BC to defend his BFL middleweight belt against Ryan Allen. Don't be surprised if you see this young man in the professional ranks some time soon and you might have a chance at seeing him on a season of the Ultimate Fighter if you keep your eyes peeled.
"I will definitely be doing that [trying out for the Ultimate Fighter] once I get my three fights in."
Leon Horne is a writer for Bleacher Report and is part of the B/R MMA interview team, Follow @Leon_Horne