Almighty Fighting Championship 26 takes centre stage this Saturday in Houghton le Spring. The Rainton Arena will host the promotion for the second time this year.
Those attending can expect a night filled with well-matched contests from the bottom of the amateur ranks to the top of the pro level.
The main event sees Almighty FC flyweight champion, Shaj Haque, defend his title against Elliott Hoye in what is sure to be a barnburner of a matchup.
We caught up with one-half of the main event in Elliott Hoye to talk all things Almighty before Saturday night.
Interview With Elliott Hoye
It’s fight week Elliot, and it’s a quick turn-around just as you wanted after suffering a period of inactivity. How are you feeling several days out?
I’m super happy with the turnaround. I’m looking to stay active and build my resume, so this is perfect. I feel calm and ready to perform.
You picked up gold at Shock N’ Awe 32 after being out for a lengthy period. How did you feel being back in there? Was it tough to find your bearings from the get-go, or were you comfortable? Sum up how you feel it went?
I was surprisingly comfortable. Before walking out, I was almost nervous that I wasn’t nervous. Even though I have been out with injuries, I haven’t been out of the sport, so I think that was why it felt so natural. I would say it felt like that was where I was meant to be. Even in the fight, I was cerebral and able to think my way through positions.
I would have liked to have shown more of my skills, but Aaron came and fought hard, so overall I’m happy with the win after such a long layoff.
The last time we spoke, you told me you were going through a frustrating time with injuries, pull-outs, and everything under the sun. How satisfying was it for the cage door to actually close at Shock N’ Awe and for you to hear that opening bell? Did you feel a weight lifted off your shoulders?
It felt right like this is where I am meant to be right now. I truly missed the competition, and I didn’t realise how much until I actually got in there.
Two belts in a matter of months aren’t bad if you are successful on the night. What were your initial thoughts when offered the matchup with Shaj, and how do you feel you matchup against one another?
I am happy this fight has been put together finally. Shaj and I have been booked multiple times before, but with injuries and other things, it hasn’t materialised. Shaj is a top-class opponent who is a nightmare for anybody in the flyweight division. He is fast, crafty and knows how to win high-level fights. However, I believe I am a real problem for anybody in this division. My size and conditioning are going to be a real problem for him over five rounds. It is not going to be an easy fight for either of us.
Shaj put on an impressive performance against Igor Wojtas to win the Almighty FC flyweight title. Have you had the opportunity to watch that back? If so, where do you feel his strengths lie?
I have watched that fight many times. I believe Shaj’s strengths are his speed and his ability to make opponents fight his fight in his rhythm. His experience showed in that fight, and he was able to pick Igor apart without Igor getting his own game off.
Attaining Almighty Gold
What would it mean to you to attain Almighty FC gold on Saturday night? A well-respected promotion inside the UK could easily catch the attention of the likes of CW. Is that something that’s in your mind?
I’m not really thinking about what happens after the fight. Right now, I am solely focused on going and getting the job done. Anything that happens after is a fantasy until the dust has settled.
Where do you feel the key lies to defeating Shaj on Saturday night? In which department do you feel you have the advantage?
I can’t reveal my secrets. You’ll have to tune in to find out.
Elliott Hoye Predictions?
When I asked for your prediction last fight, you told me, “only violence”. Can the same be said for this fight? How does the fight play out in your mind?
I believe you are going to see two highly skilled fighters compete for five rounds. This fight can play out in multiple different ways, and I believe I am prepared for all scenarios. This will be a bloody affair.
In terms of the opposition you have faced thus far in your career, do you believe Shaj is your toughest test to date?
Shaj is by far the most skilled, most experienced and fastest opponent I have ever faced. I believe in terms of skills, Shaj wouldn’t look out of place in the UFC right now.
However, I want these types of fights as I truly believe I have the skillset to break him down, make it a horrible fight for him and get my hand raised.
Featured image credits to Battle Arena
Almighty FC 26 Tickets can be purchased following the link: Tickets / Almighty Fighting Championship (almightyfc.com)