Janes began his career competing on Vancouver Island under the King of the Cage and Armageddon FC banners, posting five wins in his first six starts before venturing to Edmonton to collect a first-round submission win over fellow middleweight upstart David Perron on the second World Series of Fighting Canada card.
The duo would run it back in Janes’ first appearance inside the Battlefield cage with the ZUMA product securing a second-round submission win to capture the middleweight title. He successfully defended his belt with a fourth-round submission win over Brendan Kornberger four months later before signing with the UFC.
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Even before stepping into the Octagon for the first time, Janes had an eventful UFC run, as his first bout was scratched the day of the fight and his second attempt to make his debut fell through when the entire event was scuttled. He eventually scored a victory over Keith Berish in December 2016 to earn his first UFC win, and closed out his time on the big stage — and in the sport — with a thrilling, come-from-behind finish of TUF winner Andrew Sanchez.
Janes retired in 2018 following the birth of his first child, finishing his career on a high note with a record of 10-3 overall.
The 31-year-old Smith is another member of this graduating group that logged both pro and amateur bouts under the Battlefield Fight League banner.
Following a 4-3 run as an amateur that included a BFL bantamweight title win and a failed attempt to become a two-weight champ with a move up to lightweight, “The Cole Train” departed for the professional ranks, with the Squamish, British Columbia native claiming the BFL bantamweight title in his second pro fight and successfully defending the belt three times before getting the call to the UFC.
“Boondock” is the most recent fighter with Battlefield Fight League experience on his resume to transition to the Octagon, making the jump on short notice in September 2019 and registering a unanimous decision victory over Michel Pereira.
Currently training in Las Vegas, the welterweight, who also serves as the Head MMA Coach for the Checkmat Vancouver team, had nothing but rave reviews for the local promotion as it readies to debut on UFC FIGHT PASS this evening.
“Having a solid regional scene is super-important and Battlefield is one of the few survivors,” said Connelly, who has cornered countless fighters under the BFL banner in addition to going 2-1 in three appearances himself. “They’ve proven that they have staying power. They’ve been around for years, they’ve had over 60 events and they’re solid; when they say they’re going to do something, they do it.
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“They put on a great show, they do a really great job trying to replace fighters when people fall off, so I’m super-excited to see that Battlefield is getting the recognition and being on Fight Pass because that is huge for the fighters as well. Now we have a consistent organization in BC that is going to have international recognition.”
Smith debuted in the Octagon against fellow Canadian Mitch Gagnon, registering a unanimous decision win over the veteran in Ottawa, but then landed on the wrong side of a split decision verdict in his homecoming bout against Miles Johns in September 2019. He returned to the Octagon last year, dropping a decision to Hunter Azure.