PFL's Simeon Powell On Jake Paul: 'I Don't Think He Would Fight Someone Like Me'

The rising British MMA star fights in Newcastle in March
18:00, 27 Jan 2023

Simeon Powell is ready for the next level. On 25th March at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle, he gets an opportunity to reach that level. The man they call 'Smooth' will compete in the inaugural PFL Europe event, the start of a tournament culminating in Dublin in December. The first of its kind from the company, Powell has the opportunity to be a trailblazer as he looks to lift the light heavyweight prize. 

You started off in kickboxing. What made you want to transition from that into MMA?

I started kickboxing when I was around 16. Then a year into it, I got good. Then I just made that transition to MMA.

Who were your inspirations when you took up the sport?

There's a few. I've always been a big fan of Anderson Silva, he’s probably the first MMA fighter that I really looked up to. But the likes of Jon Jones and Conor McGregor also had a big influence in that transition. I was just starting in MMA in that Conor McGregor era, that rise where he was just tearing up the scene. 

When you started out you balanced being a trainee engineer with fighting. Are you full-time now?

I'm still doing it now, I’m a part-timer. Yeah. So what I do is I train in the morning, I work in the evening then I might do a session after. At the moment it is tough, but I've got a vision, and I'm just gonna stick to it until the time is right.

You’ve spoken about overcoming small fight purses in the early days. Just how tough is it to start out in professional MMA?

A lot of people don't quite understand that MMA is a serious grind. Especially at the start where you're not fighting for much. But you’ve got to do things like promoting yourself and you’ve gotta fight great obviously. You’ve got to do everything that people want to see, so that you get your name out there. Then things start to happen, but the start is tough and rough. But that's the game.

You talk about a tough start but, in the cage at least, you made it look easy. How did you feel when you secured four first-round finishes in your first four pro fights?

It was great, that period of my life. We came out of the lockdown that year. I was meant to turn pro before or just after the lockdown. A year and a half or two years not fighting, I was so motivated, and I was hungry. That’s it, I fought every month, back-to-back, and I was just hungry. I just did what I needed to do. They were all first round finishes.

Only Tobias Baker has taken you the distance over the course of your career. What do you think makes you such an effective finisher?

I think it’s my ability to find the finish. That Tobias Baker fight was a bit of a shock to me. He was so durable, he could take a shot. So it was a great experience for me to have a fight like that. But I feel like my way is that I am just able to find that finishing shot.


A big win at the Copper Box last time out. How do you feel you performed in stopping Joao Paulo Fagundes?

I think it was a very good performance. I think I showed all areas of my game. The fact that he was an undefeated, 7-0 Brazilian as well it was perfect because it was a test to see where I was up. And I made it easy in my opinion.

Brendan Loughnane was on that card as was Kayla Harrison. Was it inspiring to fight alongside some of the biggest names in the PFL today?

It was like an awakening moment. An “I'm here” sort of thing. I can be on the show that these guys are on. It was just an eye opener and I was grateful for it.

How much do you know about your opponent in Newcastle, Mohamed Amine?

I just know that he's a kickboxer. He's got a lot of kickboxing experience. He's a bit of a ghost in the MMA world. But I feel like he's dangerous, obviously, in the striking department. But I’m also dangerous as well. There's a few things I'm going to bring to this fight that people ain't seen before. So expect a finish!

What can fans expect not just from your fight but this massive PFL Europe show in general?

I think fans are in for a treat. I'm more motivated than ever, obviously there's $100,000 on the line. So the fans are in for a treat in that aspect. But also the PFL have signed with DAZN and the production of all these events is gonna be crisp, just an amazing show. The fans are definitely in for a treat.

Along with the DAZN deal, the PFL put pen to paper with another big signing recently. Jake Paul has signed to compete in the company. What do you think of the move?

I think it's great business, it's a great business move from both parties. Jake brings the eyes and all his fans and the PFL can benefit from it. Jake is a big star and he brings the viewer so I think it’s great for the sport and the company.

Jake Paul boxes at cruiserweight which is 200 pounds. You’re a light heavyweight in MMA terms which is 205 pounds. Do you fancy fighting ‘The Problem Child?’?

If they offered me it, I'd take it in a heartbeat. I don't think he would fight someone like me, a young, hungry light heavyweight. The odds don’t really stack up in his favour. I don't know how realistic that would be. But of course I would take it if it was offered.

Do you think Jake Paul would be another one of those first round stoppages on your record?

If it was MMA, for sure, But in boxing I'll give him a bit more credit.

Before we go, do you have a message for Amine ahead of the fight?

This is business and no one's taking food off my table. That's all I’ve got to say.

Tickets to watch Simeon Powell at PFL Europe in Newcastle on March 25 can be purchased from Ticketmaster at this link.

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