Simeon Powell believes fans will witness the best version of him so far, when he meets Jakob Nedoh in the PFL Europe light heavyweight final at Dublin’s 3Arena on December 8.
Having only joined the professional ranks in August 2021, Powell’s success has been astronomical as the Great Britain Top Team athlete finds himself just one win away from the inaugural PFL Europe light heavyweight championship belt and a $100,000 prize.
One of the reasons ‘Smooth’ has managed to accelerate his career at such a rate is due to his activity – an element of the sport he perceives to be vital for any young professional.
“I think it’s important for most fighters on the come-up, especially early in your pro career, to have as many fights as possible and get comfortable with the lights,” he said.
“Yeah, I feel like that’s the main thing. Getting comfortable in the environment you’re in and performing.”
Powell is very aware of his career trajectory and credits his work ethic for some of his accomplishments.
“It’s unheard of, what I’m doing. I think I’m like two-and-a-half years deep into my career now and look at the opportunities already coming my way. It just shows the hard work and graft is paying off.”
With a growing name in the sport comes more responsibilities, with media requests and the likes ever expanding but proving his nickname & character are perfectly intertwined, ‘Smooth’ is taking it all in his stride.
“I feel like this is part of it now. It just feels normal, if that makes sense,” he said.
“Every fight since, I think, my fifth, so my challenger series fight, I’ve had media obligations, so now it’s my 10th professional fight so over more than half my pro career has just been in this sort of environment so I’ve got used to it and it just feels natural.”
Standing in the way of what would be his biggest achievement to date is Slovenian contender Jakob Nedoh. With seven first-round finishes to his name, it would be easy to presume Nedoh will look to extend that run to eight, but Powell has prepared for everything, whether it be a one-round showdown or a three-round war.
“I think he’s a phenomenal athlete, he’s going to bring the best out of me,” Powell said.
“All of his fights haven’t come out the first round, that motivates me, keeps me on my toes during camp and he’s pushed me to a new level.
“I also think he’s quite smart and he’s intelligent, so I’m prepared for all aspects of the game. There’s definitely no part of him that won’t change. I feel like he will get hungry for that first-round finish. So I think it’s going to be an exciting one from the get-go.”
The two are set to feature on a stacked card in the Irish capital, which is set to host an abundance of UK and Irish talent along with plenty of qualifiers for the 2024 tournament. The 24-year-old is relishing the opportunity to perform in front of an Irish crowd.
“I love the Irish,” he said.
“The passion they have and the support they have for their own is second to none. So I’m excited to perform out there.
“It’s a big card, I’ve got two teammates fighting as well, in Dom Wooding and Wesley Maia, and I think their fights are going to be crackers as well. So yeah, it’s all around great fights.”
However, Powell has tunnel vision and is determined to deliver a career-best performance at the 3Arena.
When asked what we should expect from his performance, he stated, “The best me. That’s all that I can guarantee you. The best version of me, because this opponent is game, and I’ve really trained my arse off for this one. So you’re going to see the best version of Simeon Powell, for sure!”
Away from the cage, one of the landmark signings among the ensemble of UK talent PFL Europe have scooped up over the last 18 months is, their director of fighter operations, Dan Hardy. The UK MMA stalwart will play a vital role in the promotion’s European scene moving forward, and Powell sees Hardy’s appointment as the perfect fit.
“It’s very, very important (to have Dan in the role) because Dan has been a fighter, he’s been at the elite level and he’s done it. So it’s good to have someone that you can trust, because he’s been there, running things. And Dan’s passion for the sport as well, that is unmatched. So I see no better person for the role.”
PFL Europe 4: Dublin will be available on DAZN for UK customers with tickets still available from TicketMaster.
By Jake Smith.