Mac 'Big' Laursen, who trains out of Cochrane with Teofista Boxing, is the new Battlefield Fight League (BFL) welterweight champion.

Mac Laursen, 30, dethroned defending champion Dejan Kajic, of B.C., at 4:53 of the second round by submission with a rear-naked choke. They fought in Vancouver on May 6.

Eric de Guzman, head coach of Teofista Boxing, says he didn't realize how significant the win was until he discovered Kajic was a long-reigning champion who is a B.C. hall of famer.

BFL is a regional feeder into the UFC. 

"Winning these smaller regional championships gives you an in with the UFC and that's what my guy's trying to do. There's a lot of talk about him being there within maybe the next fight, but definitely within the next couple of fights."

LaursenBig with Ramil Kamilon, left, training partner and stablemate, Brian Bird, grappling/MMA coach, and Eric de Guzman, right, boxing coach. (photo submitted)

de Guzman has been his boxing coach for about four years and they train out of the Cochrane Lions Event Centre. They first met when Big was a 15-year-old amateur boxer, who went on to train in Muay Tae then MMA before they were reunited.

"Even when he was a kid, he was always going to be a champion and to actually see that happen 15 years later is kind of neat."

Laursen makes the regular trip from his Calgary home to train here.

"After he's done training at my gym, he teaches all the kids as well, so he's kind of a role model for them as well."

Big, who stands 6'1" and was 189 lbs. at weigh-in, also trains out of Alavanca, an MMA gym.

It was Big's sixth consecutive win after losing his professional debut. Five have been won by submission. The other was a TKO. He's ranked 14th in Western Canada, 25th in Canada and 156th in North America among active pro welterweights.

Battlefield Fight League is Canada's premier developmental organization for the UFC. All BFL events are streamed exclusively on UFC Fight Pass.