(PRESS RELEASE) -- The Maximum Fighting Championship crowned a new
world lightweight champion and saw its middleweight champion come
through with a hard-fought first defense of his crown at MFC 36:
Inside a packed Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and
live on AXS TV Fights, Graham
Spencer became the MFC’s new lightweight champ when he scored a
tapout victory via North-South choke over Mukai Maromo
in the third round of their co-main event clash.
In the middleweight championship bout, Elvis
Mutapcic kept hold of his belt, taking a tremendous
back-and-forth struggle against challenger “Smilen” Sam Alvey by
Spencer (10-1, 1 NC) relentlessly pursued takedowns in the early
going against Maromo, but “The Afrikan Assassin” began to find his
rhythm in the second round and was scoring with a variety of
strikes. Just moments into the third round, however, Spencer, who
trains in Sacramento, California, scored a takedown and promptly
moved into position, putting the squeeze on Maromo who finally
tapped out at the 1:01 mark.
The win was Spencer’s fifth straight and the fifth career victory
via submission for the 28-year-old who is originally from Nanaimo,
British Columbia, and becomes the first Canadian to win the MFC’s
155-pound division title. The defeat snapped a five-fight winning
streak for Maromo (8-3), who was coming off a soaring 2012 campaign
that saw the Zimbabwe native and resident of Edmonton, Alberta,
capture Inside MMA’s Rising Star Award and both the MFC’s 2012
Knockout and Fight of the Year honors.
Meanwhile, Mutapcic (13-2) got everything he wanted and more out of
his encounter with Alvey (19-5, 1 NC). The two traded strikes
throughout the entire five rounds, and even a severe low blow
suffered by Alvey in Round 4 (which cost Mutapcic a point on the
scorecards) couldn’t stop him from putting continual pressure on
the defending champion.
Mutapcic, a native of Bosnia who fights out of Des Moines, Iowa,
nearly ended the fight with a guillotine choke in Round 3, and
Alvey caught the champ solidly with punches in the fourth. The
close encounter came down to the judges’ scorecards and Mutapcic
retained the belt with scores of 49-45, 48-46 and 48-46. Had Alvey,
who trains in Temecula, California, swayed the judges and taken the
fifth round, the fight would have wound up a majority draw.
In a much-anticipated heavyweight showdown, Fight Matrix’s 2012
Rookie of the Year Smealinho
Rama (6-0) became the MFC’s No. 1 contender for the
championship belt as he cruised past Mike Hackert.
The battle of Canada’s two top-ranked heavyweights was over in a
flash as Rama, who fights out of Calgary, Alberta, pounced on
Hackert (6-2) and rained down punches until he forced a TKO
stoppage at 2:28 of Round 1.
With the decisive win, Rama is now guaranteed a shot at the MFC’s
heavyweight title sometime in 2013.
The main card of MFC 36 featured a pair of spectacular comeback
victories – most notably the surprising win for massive underdog
Swofford in the opener on AXS TV Fights.
Swofford, who fights out of Sacramento, California, was a late
replacement to take on Jay Silva, and
was nearly out of the encounter in the opening seconds thanks to a
quick assault by Silva. But Swofford (8-3) turned the tables in a
heartbeat, crashing a standing elbow strike to the side of Silva’s
head. A flurry of strikes followed before referee John Braak jumped
in to save Silva (8-7), giving Swofford the win only 41 seconds
into the middleweight battle along with the Knockout of the Night
In the evening’s second stirring comeback, Brazilian jiu-jitsu ace
Novaes needed every bit of his skills to pull off a grand theft
in lightweight action. Novaes (11-4) had been dominated for two
rounds by the stand-up striking and wrestling of Kurt
Southern, but Novaes secured a come-from-behind win just 1:06
into Round 3 when he caught Southern (10-4) with an armbar.
Rounding out the main card was gripping affair between two
Zentgraf (7-1) roared to life in the second round, and
eventually coaxed a verbal tapout via armbar from Clay
Davidson (7-4) with just three seconds to go in the middle
The MFC 36 prelims were highlighted by a Submission of the Night
performance from local fan favorite Garret
Nybakken who rendered Keenan
Feeney unconscious with a guillotine choke with 15 seconds
remaining in Round 1 of their lightweight contest.