Simeon Powell is ready to leave his double life behind and let MMA look after him as he chases down his first title in the Professional Fighters League.

The undefeated 24-year-old made headlines with a string of vicious knockout victories in his first year with the promotion in 2022, initially fighting on the PFL Challenger Series before earning his place on two regular season cards.

This year, his focus is the PFL’s inaugural European series, kicking off the light-heavyweight bracket against Mohamed Amine in Newcastle on Saturday night.

Having started immersing himself in MMA seven years ago, this marks the first time he has been able to leave behind the demands of everyday life to focus on his craft. Powell has previously balanced his fighting career with his day job as an engineer.

Away from glamour at the top end of combat sport, the Londoner spent years picking up paltry paycheques and fighting in tiny venues, training around his 9 to 5 commitments.

But having been able to leave that behind, he is now fully focused on becoming European champion in 2023, which will also earn him a place on the global roster to challenge for the world title next year.

‘Those experiences have shaped me as a man,’ Powell told ‘MMA was a child that I had to support and feed almost. I had to work for it. I had no handouts, I got myself into this position working my a**e off, taking [financial] losses to get there.

‘Now I am finally in the position where it is like that baby has grown up and now it is time for it to take care of me. When I look back, it will be a big part of the story and I can’t wait to see what progress I make from being able to just purely focus on MMA. These other guys couldn’t get me then, imagine what it is going to be like now.’

The 7-0 fighter scored with a devastating knee KO to leave his opponent out cold last April before chopping down João Paulo Fagundes in August to add to his growing reputation as a fearsome finisher.

‘I don’t really tap into that too much,’ he said. ‘I think they are sick knockouts and you take what you want from them. But what I will say is they have started to build a target on my back. Doing what I’ve done with the way PFL are backing me, other fighters are going to want what I have.’

Standing at 6ft 4in, the rangy light-heavyweight has drawn early comparisons with a young Jon Jones. While he is a world away from the UFC icon right now, he plans to dominate whatever promotion he finds himself in, adopting a mindset that being anything other than the best isn’t good enough.

‘All I can do is focus on me and what I have to do, I can’t really feed on what other people say, the good and the bad because I have a job to do,’ he said.

‘If I don’t perform, it all goes way. So I can’t focus on outside noise.

‘Put me in any league or division in MMA at light heavyweight and I will feel like I am the top dog. That is just the energy I have got to bring to the cage because I don’t expect any less from myself. I am always going to try and be the best so I have got to speak it into the existence.

‘I give myself no other option but to win. I don’t even think about, if the slightest thought if it comes into my head, I rewrite it.’

PFL’s promotion efforts will be given a major shot in the arm this year by the arrival of Jake Paul, with the YouTuber-turned boxer set to make his MMA debut with the promotion in 2024.

Former UFC great Nate Diaz is one name in the frame to fight the 26-year-old American, with Powell hoping to be part of the show if and when it does roll around.

‘Of course, it makes us more mainstream so I’m all for what they are doing. It was a shock to see him join, we didn’t hear much about it, then all of a sudden my phone blew up with family and friends asking if I will be fighting Jake Paul!

‘I don’t think he will be looking to fight young, hungry guys like me. But fighting on an undercard like the Nate Diaz fight? It wouldn’t be bad either.’

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