Micah Terrill is well aware that his first ride in the big time of mixed martial arts will likely also be his last.
After a career in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regional MMA scene that began in 2008, Terrill finally has a chance to compete on the national stage. He’s set to face Sabah Homasi at Bellator 225 on Saturday, Aug. 24.
“I’ve been doing this too long, and I’m here to fight,” Terrill told Combat Press. “It’s my shot, and I’m going to take it. It’s kind of surreal. I didn’t tell anyone at first and kept it hush until the contracts were signed. I don’t have to sell tickets or anything else — just fight. I clearly think I’ll be an overnight sensation with getting a knockout. I couldn’t have asked for a better match-up.”
Homasi holds a 12-8 career mark, but he has been knocked out in three out of his last four fights. All three losses came while Homasi was a member of the UFC roster.
“I’ve been interested in fighting this guy for a while,” admitted Terrill, who sports a record of 14-7. “I made it to a major organization, and everything is riding on me and my performance. This is the major leagues. It’s one of the top two organizations out there and the top tier, but I’m not putting too much pressure on myself. [Homasi] has been broken before, and I’ll break him again.”
Terrill’s Bellator debut comes just over a month after his last title defense as the reigning welterweight champion of the Maryland-based Shogun Fights promotion. Terrill’s bout against Jerome Featherstone at Shogun Fights 22 ended in a no-contest in the second round after an accidental eye poke.
“The guy just ran everywhere,” Terrill said of Featherstone. “Every time I took a step forward, he took two steps back. I hit him with some violent elbows on the ground in the first round, and the guy was just lying there in my lap.
“The ref raised his arms like he was waving it off, and I thought I won, but then the ref told me to continue hitting him. I hit him again, and it woke him back up, and it threw me off a little. I came out a little slower in the second round, and he scored a takedown, but couldn’t hit me. He didn’t know what to do, so he put his hand on my face and scratched my cornea. My vision was blurred; I couldn’t physically see.”
Terrill is the latest addition to a group of fighters who competed in Shogun Fights before moving on to national organizations like the UFC, Bellator and the Professional Fighters League. He joins the ranks of Jimy Hettes, Rob Watley, Rob Sullivan and Peter Petties, among others.
“Shogun Fights got me ready for competing in a venue in front of thousands of people,” Terrill said. “Everything happens for a reason, and it helped propel me into this situation.”
Shogun Fights owner John Rallo was glad to help Terrill reach his goal of competing on MMA’s big stage. Rallo hopes the trend of fighters who compete for Shogun Fights receiving similar opportunities continues.
“It’s exciting and what you want to see — more guys getting called up,” Rallo said. “I hope he does great, and it’s the goal for our other local talent to show their ability. I gave Micah the vehicle, and he’s a talented striker and an exciting fighter. He’s a great talent, and I wish him well. He validates the talent here, and I would be happy for any other guy who makes that jump.”
Terrill has every intention of making the most of his opportunity with Bellator, but he plans to focus more on his outside business interests once his run comes to an end. He runs his own gym, The Hot Box Boxing and Fitness, and fight team.
“I’m done with regional shows after this,” Terrill said. “I’m getting new clients at my gym every month and getting bigger checks every month. I also started my own MMA team of about 15 fighters.”
The fight team evolved from Terrill’s own need for training partners for his fights. He is particular about the type of fighter he allows to join the team.
“We’re making each other better, and it’s my time to give back,” Terrill said. “You have to be a good dude to join this team. We’re not greedy [and] we have no egos, but we all aspire and have dreams. If you show up at the door with an ego, we will take it from you.”