Smealinho Rama is currently the #1 ranked heavyweight fighter in Canada. Coming off a first round TKO finish of previously top ranked Mike Hackert at MFC 36 in February, he now gets the call to compete for the title after only having competed in professional mixed martial arts for 13 months. At just 21 years of age, Rama is a significant force in the heavyweight division - an undeniable talent brimming with confidence.
In his 6 fights (which have lasted a total of only 14:06 combined), Smealinho has won half by TKO and half by submission, with all wins coming in the very first round. Not one to opt for the slow and steady route, Rama fought and won 5 times in 2012, building momentum, sharpening his skills and looking markedly better in each outing. This led Rama to his fight with Mike Hackert, who then held the rank of #1 heavyweight in the country. Rama finished Hackert with punches at 2:28 of the first round. His style of fighting and his achievements are very impressive, yet what is equally impressive is how Rama does it all with the calmness of a veteran fighter.
Chris Barnett is an athletic virtuoso: a tae kwon do black belt with boxing experience who played Division 1 football for the University of South Florida. At 5'9" and 265 pounds, Chris possesses a level of athleticism normally reserved for men far smaller than himself. He overflows with charisma and consistently pleases fans with his fighting style. He has competed in MMA for 4 years, finishing 5 of the 8 opponents he has faced by KO or TKO. Looking to the immediate future, Chris has said that Smealinho Rama is precisely the kind fighter he wants for his next fight: a legitimate contender. Well aware of the level of skill possessed by his opponent, but eager to build his legacy, Chris Barnett predicts a win over Rama via TKO in the 2nd round.
These are two fighters who are not at all hesitant to put everything on the line and engage in the kinds of fights MMA fans have come to love and appreciate. Rama has stated that he doesn't want to be a "decision fighter." "I want to finish every fight and make it exciting... and I want the fans to love it." Barnett has similarly stated that he is all about putting on a show and that he believes it to be his job to "humble fighters with massive egos." Here we have all the makings of a heavyweight slugfest where nothing is held back, where the level of talent is extremely high, and from which a new MMA star will emerge.
Tickets for MFC 37: True Grit are on sale now and available at www.ticketmaster.ca or by calling the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024.