Oren Hanscomb proudly displays his amateur featherweight belt.

Hanscomb wins first belt

Campbell River mixed martial arts fighter captures amateur featherweight title in the Battlefield Fight League

Campbell River’s Oren Hanscomb won the fifth and final round to capture a majority decision and his first belt in the Battlefield Fight League (BFL).

The ultimate fighter captured the amateur featherweight title on Saturday night at the Hard Rock Casino in Coquitlam over Cleve Bentley of Kelowna.

“I didn’t feel tired or any pain once I began the fifth round, because at that point nothing mattered but winning every second,” said Hanscomb, following the fight.

Hanscomb knew he had a tough match against Bentley who bloodied and battered some of his earlier opponents.

“I felt much more nervous for this fight than the past few,” he said, “maybe because a lot was on the line or maybe because there were people messaging me telling me how much of a beast my opponent is.

“Seeing guys who I thought were good fighters come back to the change room with bloody faces didn’t help either,” he added with a laugh.

After losing his first amateur featherweight title fight to Andre Da Silva last September, Hanscomb trained hard for BFL 26.

Training out of Campbell River’s Pure Martial Arts & Fitness studio, Hanscomb worked out hard for eight weeks, typically 12-hour days, five to six days a week.

He was also putting on weight, too much in fact, so he also had to lose close to 25 pounds to get down to the 145-pound weight limit for the weigh-in.

Fortunately, the weight loss didn’t affect his strength as Hanscomb came out throwing punches in order to “test the beast.”

And what the River fighter and his corner quickly found out was Hanscomb had a clear strength advantage over his opponent.

But Bentley, who fights for the Toshido club of Kelowna, was a worthy challenger who used his experience to pull even with Hanscomb at two rounds apiece going into the final round.

In the fifth and final round, Bentley got under Hanscomb in position to pin him, but the Campbell River fighter quickly got his back up against the cage and broke out of the clutch to secure the victory.

It’s the first BFL belt for a Vancouver Island mixed martial arts fighter and Hanscomb made sure to credit his cornermen from Island MMA and West Coast BJJ.

Hanscomb’s record in the BFL is now 7-3.

“It felt really good to win that one, especially against such a high-level and well-rounded fighter,” said Hanscomb, who will defend his title in the next few months agains the next top contender.