Archive for the ‘Fighter Features’ Category

Three fights added to MFC 38 main card, including two lightweight title eliminator bouts

The Maximum Fighting Championship has rounded out its six-fight main card for MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines with the addition of three bouts that will be spotlighted live on AXS TV Fights.

In addition to the already touted key matchup in the lightweight division – the hotly anticipated rematch between Brazilian jiu-jitsu sensation Jonatas “Peixe Frito” Novaes and young Canadian star Kurt “The Hurt” Southern – two more fights have been finalized including a second expected thriller in the lightweight ranks.

Newcomer Alejandro “Alex” Garcia, who just signed a multi-fight deal with the Maximum Fighting Championship, will take on fan favorite Curtis “The Demon” Demarce.

Garcia (14-5) makes his organizational debut riding a streak that has seen him win eight of his last nine fights. The Yuma, Arizona, product has finished his foes in nine of his 14 victories including seven wins coming inside the opening round.

Demarce (13-10) is well-known to MFC fans for his epic three-round wars against both Marcus Davis and Richie Whitson. The Brandon, Manitoba, native has not only shown his courageous side in those fights, but has does it again by returning to mixed martial arts following a life-threatening car accident. Demarce’s biggest career victory to date came at MFC 26 when he secured a second-round tapout of Tyson Steele via inverted triangle choke.

The entire main card gets under way live on AXS TV Fights at 10 p.m. ET/8 p.m. MT/7 p.m. PT on Friday, October 4 live from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta (check local listings for channel designation).

Adding more intrigue to the Novaes-Southern II battle, the winner has been guaranteed a shot at the MFC lightweight title.

“The first battle between these two fighters was a classic,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich. “Southern was all over Novaes for two rounds and totally dominating, and then being a slick submission artist, Novaes pulls out the stunning, come-from-behind victory in Round 3.

“Everyone wanted to see them go at it again, and clearly the winner will be well-deserving a title shot.”

Novaes (11-4) boasts eight submission victories on his career resume, including his tapout of Southern at the 1:06 mark of the third round at MFC 36. A native of Conceicao da Barra, Brazil, Novaes now fights out of Chicago, Illinois, and has impressive list of international successes in jiu-jitsu competitions. The 32-year-old is a 12-time IBJJF champion, and captured both the the World and Pan-American Nogi championships in 2011.

Southern (12-4) is an accomplished wrestler out of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, but has adeptly added striking and jiu-jitsu to his arsenal. Southern, who has won four of his last five outings, picked up his seventh career submission victory at MFC 37, tapping out former title challenger Mukai Maromo with a North-South choke just 2:54 into their matchup.

The AXS TV Fights broadcast will open up with a terrific battle in the MFC’s middleweight division as hot prospect Teddy “The Bear” Ash (3-0) takes on rugged veteran Jared “The Yeti” McComb (5-2-1).

Ash, who fights out of Fort McMurray, Alberta, has finished all three of his opponents with two of those coming inside the opening round. McComb, an Edmonton, Alberta, native, is coming off a first-round victory at MFC 37.

MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines – Main Card

  • Anthony Hamilton vs. Smealinho Rama, MFC heavyweight title
  • Jason South vs. Sam Alvey, MFC middleweight title
  • Tito Jones vs. Anthony Birchak, MFC bantamweight title
  • Jonatas Novaes vs. Kurt Southern, lightweight
  • Alejandro Garcia vs. Curtis Demarce, lightweight
  • Teddy Ash vs. Jared McComb, middleweight

UFC 164 Fresh Faces: Nikita Krylov

UFC heavyweight Nikita Krylov

UFC 164 takes place on Aug. 31 at the BMO Harris Bradley Center in Milwaukee, Wis., and is headlined with a lightweight title bout between champion Benson Henderson and challenger Anthony Pettis.  There are a couple returnees to the Octagon after a lengthy hiatus, including Josh Barnett and Soa Palelei, but only the Ukraine’s Nikita Krylov is the only true newcomer.

Name: Nikita “Al Capone” Krylov

Weight class: Heavyweight

Record: 15-2

Recent body of work: Defeated Gabriel Tampu at “M-1 Challenge 38 – Spring Battle” via Round 1 TKO on April 13.

Who he is: Krylov began his MMA career just 14 months ago and already has amassed 17 bouts.  He’s never seen endured a bout lasting longer than one round, and holds 10 submission and five TKO/KO victories to his credit.  The Kyokushin karate master won the Gladiator Fighting Championship 4-man single-night tournament and is a law student in Donetsk Law Institute in Donetsk, Ukraine.  Krylov meets Soa Palelei in his UFC debut at UFC 164.

Jared Rosholt: Fighting in UFC ‘like a real career’

Jared Rosholt (R) kicks Richard White (L). (Photo courtesy of Team Takedown)

Even though he didn’t start training in MMA until after college, in some ways Jared Rosholt has been readying for a UFC career since high school.

Rosholt (Twitter: @JaredRosholt), the most accomplished heavyweight wrestler in Oklahoma State University history, traded his singlet for a pair of four-ounce gloves nearly three years ago.  After compiling a collegiate record of 127-25, Rosholt came to a crossroads so many college wrestlers meet as their amateur wrestling days come to an end.

“When I got done with college wrestling, I had been (wrestling) for 18 years,” Rosholt told  “After going through that grind of (NCAA) Division I wrestling seasons I was ready for change, but I wasn’t ready to be done competing.  With all the changes that were going on with the freestyle-wrestling rules, I just wasn’t really sure I wanted to do it the way it was at that time.  They changed the rules now to where it’s a lot like the wrestling I grew up doing, but for a while they changed the rules and it just wasn’t for me.”

As conventional wrestling wasn’t a path Rosholt envisioned himself following anymore, the three-time NCAA All-American wrestler entertained other competitive outlets.

Fresh out of college Rosholt was recruited by the Independent Pro Wrestling Training Center in Tampa Bay, Fla.  He had the opportunity to work out with fellow WWE hopefuls and learn a small bit about pro-wrestling.  The idea of Rosholt showcasing his skills in the WWE was not that farfetched, but things didn’t come to fruition, so the former OSU wrestler was forced to investigate other options.

“When I was young we used to watch (WWF) as a family, so I was kind of interested,” Rosholt said.  “The only thing was I just had a kid out of college, and one of the things they didn’t beat around the bush about was that you’re going to be on the road 350 days a year.  I also thought about football too.  I never really even watched MMA until (brother and former UFC combatant) Jake (Rosholt) started doing it.  I started watching it and I was immediately attracted to it.  It was something that really intrigued me.”

Rosholt’s focus nowadays is fully concentrated on MMA.  His 8-1 career record, coupled with his recent 34-second destruction of Jason Walraven, have put Rosholt in the UFC’s sights.  Though, the Zuffa-owned promotion is Rosholt’s ultimate goal, he is not opposed to employment under one of the other top-tier organizations in the world.

Rosholt said if things made sense business-wise, the World Series of Fighting could be an option.  The clear-cut No. 2 promotion in the world, Bellator, is also a viable option.  Bellator’s chances would be heightened if they approach Rosholt with a deal comparable to Muhammed “King Mo” Lawal’s contract, which incorporates MMA and pro-wrestling.

“I have thought about that,” Rosholt said.  “That’d be something I’d like to talk to Bellator about.  I don’t know how they go about doing that, but I’d be interested in finding out. After being in camp with those guys for a week I kind of understand how they do it and some of the basic stuff.  I don’t know if TNA is the same as WWE as far as the way they choreograph stuff, but I would assume it’s somewhat similar.”

Likewise to most mixed martial artists on the rise, the UFC is where Rosholt wants to put his skills on display.  It’s one of the most difficult sports organizations to get into.  Unlike other sports organizations, the UFC doesn’t have teams and thousands of players, along with farm teams to keep athletes competing while awaiting their calling.

Competing in an individual sport and vying for a spot amongst the sport’s elite players is something Rosholt is used to.  His past experiences have prepared him for what he will endure en route to establishing a livelihood in MMA.

“It kind of reminds me of high school wrestling a little bit,” Rosholt explained.  “You keep competing until you get picked up by a (NCAA) Division I school.  You don’t want to get picked up by a (NCAA) Division II school; you want to compete against the best guys.  The UFC is just that.  I hear you get treated better than anywhere else, the pay is better and it’s like a real career.”

Manny Gamburyan on Miller, elbows, appeal: ‘I don’t know what the (expletive) he’s talking about’

Manny Gamburyan getting inspected after possible illegal elbows

Manny Gamburyan is thankful of Cole Miller’s praise following their UFN 26 bout, but doesn’t understand his opponent’s disagreement of the outcome of the fight.

Gamburyan (Twitter: @MannyGamburyan) defeated Miller via unanimous decision at UFC Fight Night 26 on Saturday at the TD Garden in Boston.  As Round 1 was coming to an end, Miller landed a couple of elbows behind Gamburyan’s ear, which were arguably illegal blows to the back of the head.  Gamburyan crumpled to the canvas and spent much of the 60 seconds between rounds being tended to by cage-side doctors, nonetheless, the Armenian continued and secured the victory.

Two days after the fight, Miller informed Fox Sports that he intends to file an appeal with the Massachusetts State Athletic Commission to have the final ruling of the match overturned.  Miller believes he should’ve won via TKO after Gamburyan did not stand up as the opening round ended, citing that even the referee agreed the questionable elbows were legal.

To some mixed martial artists it can be upsetting when the opponent they defeat tries to spoil the victory, however, Gamburyan is not one of them.

“I don’t know what the (expletive) he’s talking about,” Gamburyan told Jason Kelly and Joe Rizzo on MMA DieHards Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.  “He can do whatever he wants, it’s his thing, he can do whatever he wants.  Whatever he feels like doing, let him do it.  I’m not going to bitch out, it was an illegal elbow to my head, I kind of fell for a minute, and I’m not going to stop, I’m going to fight.  Even though I was dizzy, I still said I’m ready to go.”

Gamburyan credited UFC women’s bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey, who was cornering “The Anvil” at UFN 26, for helping him tough out the painful moment.  The victory places Gamburyan on a two-fight win streak, after losing two consecutive bouts upon returning to the UFC in 2011 following the WEC merge.

Gamburyan pays no mind to Miller stating he is appealing the outcome of their match, but is perplexed by his fellow “TUF 5” participant’s change in heart from fight night to now.

“He came up (after the fight) and said, ‘Enjoy your victory, bro.  You’re tough,’” Gamburyan said.  “And I said thank you.”


Munah Holland signs with Invicta FC

Invicta FC flyweight Munah Holland (L) punches Marianna Kheyfets (R). (Photo courtesy of Sherdog) has confirmed with Munah Holland that the former Bellator flyweight has signed with Invicta FC.

Holland was released from Bellator following the promotion’s announcement to step back from WMMA, when they relieved all female combatants of the contractual duties.

Holland announced on MMA DieHards Radio that she has signed with Invicta FC, yet has no inaugural bout scheduled.  The touted striker enters the promotion with a 5-2 career record and has three KO/TKOs to her credit.  Holland is coming off a loss against Michelle Ould at Bellator 74 in September 2012, and she said she is anxious to get in the Invicta FC cage and put her skills on display for her new employer.

Jessica Eye vs. Sarah Kaufman confirmed for UFC 166

UFC bantamweight Jessica "Evil" Eye confirmed that Jessice “Evil” Eye and Sarah Kaufman will make their UFC debuts against each other.

Eye announced on MMA DieHards Radio that the bout will take place at UFC 166 on Oct. 19 at the Toyota Center in Houston.

“Me and Sarah are going to match up well,” Eye said of her UFC opponent.  ”I’m not sure what she knows about me, that really doesn’t matter, that’s neither here nor there, but I’m excited to fight her.  She’s a well-established woman as well as a professional fighter.  This is what I’m at this level to do.”

Eye recently signed with the UFC following Bellator closing the door on women’s MMA and releasing all of their female combatants.  She enters the UFC on a seven-fight win streak with a victory over long-time Bellator WMMA front runner, Zoila Frausto Gurgel.

Kaufman is the former Strikeforce women’s bantamweight champion.  She lost the title, but worked her way back up the ranks and secured a title shot against Ronda Rousey, who defeated Kaufman via first-round armbar.  Kaufman has most recently defeated Leslie Smith at “Invicta FC 5: Penne vs. Waterson.”  She was scheduled to meet Sara McMann in her debut, but the American withdrew from the match due to injury.

Fan voting will determine MFC 38 main event

The Maximum Fighting Championship has always taken great pride in being a organization that listens to its devoted fans. And now, the MFC is taking things one giant step further.

With MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines boasting three title fights in one night – a first in MFC history – the Maximum Fighting Championship is going to let the fans decide which of the three bouts will be the true main event of the evening.

“It’s not an easy thing deciding which title fight deserves to be the final fight of the night so why not let the fans pick who they want to see,” said MFC Owner/President Mark Pavelich.

“I’m very excited to see which fight the fans will decide on being the most deserving of the three. We’ve all heard of ‘Rock the Vote.’ Well this is ‘Punch the Vote!”

The three title fights at MFC 38 are:

Heavyweight Title – Anthony Hamilton vs. Smealinho Rama

Middleweight Title – Jason South vs. Sam Alvey

Bantamweight Title – Tito Jones vs. Anthony Birchak

It’s a simple process for voting which will be conducted via Twitter ( and Facebook (

* Votes on Twitter must include the hashtags #THEMFC, #MFC38 plus a hashtag and weight class for your pick – #HEAVYWEIGHT, #MIDDLEWEIGHT or #BANTAMWEIGHT. Votes must have #THEMFC, #MFC38 and the hashtag of your pick to be considered.

* For voting on Facebook, go to the Maximum Fighting page, click ‘Join’ and then click ‘Like’ under the poster for the fight you are selecting. All three title fights have their own individual poster, just keep scrolling till you find it as they move down the news feed as more postings go up.

The fight with the combined most tweets and likes will receive top billing and be the final fight at MFC 38 live on AXS TV Fights on Friday, Oct. 4 from the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. The runner-up fight will be the second title bout, and the fight with the third-most votes will be the first of the title matchups.

Voting begins on Tuesday, August 20 and run through till midnight on Friday, Sept. 20.

CFFC 26: Charlie Brenneman finds new life at lightweight

Charlie Brenneman details his long week that finished in victory. (photo: Maggie Krol/

“You find out life’s this game of inches,” reveals Al Pacino’s character in “Any Given Sunday.” “The inches we need are everywhere around us…Because we know when we add up all those inches, it’s gonna make the f*cking difference between winning and losing, between living and dying!”

In combat sports, the line isn’t measured in inches but pounds. The tiniest weight shifts change records, divisions and even careers. Much like Pacino’s Tony D’Amato in the 1999 football flick above, MMA recognizes the razor-thin margin between victory and defeat.

Few know this better than Charlie Brenneman (Twitter: @SpaniardMMA). Entering pro MMA in 2007, “The Spaniard” soon earned space in the UFC’s 170 lb. division. Its welterweights were too much, however, and UFC brass cut Brenneman last year after he went 4-4 against the weight class’s elite.

“Everyone always told me I was small at 170 lbs.,” Brenneman told MMADiehards’ MMA Cypher Radio on July 22. “When I was cut, UFC matchmaker Joe Silva said the best way to get back was to go to 155 lbs. and get some wins.”

Heeding that wisdom, Brenneman rang in 2013 with a lightweight debut. Choking out Eric Irvin at “VFL 40: Broad Avenue Brawlers” last January, he’s now 3-0 at his new weight.

“I was good at 170 but I feel like I can literally be the champ at 155 lbs.,” Brenneman said. “Everyone says they can beat anyone but I’ve beaten big, strong, good 170 lb. fighters. It’s like going from fighting giants to fighting guys in my own weight class.”

“The Spaniard” tests this fresh success against Kyle “Alley Cat” Baker Saturday night at CFFC 26 in Atlantic City, N.J. The pair will clash over the CFFC’s vacant 155 lb. title, with the victor emerging as the face of its lightweight division.

“I’m looking forward to my next fight as Baker is a tough dude,” Brenneman admitted. “He’s the kind of guy I want to fight and push me to that next level.”

Baker’s skills are such Brenneman believes vanquishing him leads towards an Octagon return. Having destroyed Aung La Nsang at CFFC 23 last April, “Alley Cat” plans on assaulting Brenneman for a quick stoppage this weekend.

“I see Brenneman continually trying for takedowns and me stuffing them,” Baker recently told CFFC. “I’ll break him, and then I’ll knock him out.”

Such trash talk doesn’t bother “The Spaniard.” Carefully plotting his UFC return, Brenneman said Baker’s bad mouthing won’t deter his resolve.

“I like the progress I’ve taken to get to this point,” Brenneman said. “I wanted to get comfortable at this weight class. I didn’t just want an opportunity, thought, I wanted to earn it. I’ve won my previous two fights for Cage Fury, and I want to fight for this title my third fight.”

Brenneman will get his wish Saturday night. Once the cage door closes, he’ll battle Baker tooth and nail for championship gold. Should he win, “The Spaniard” comes that much closer to a second UFC stint – even if it’s pound-by-pound, inch-by-inch.

“My goal above anything is to win,” Brenneman said. “If I win this belt, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. That’s a UFC-worthy bout there.”

Three title bouts scheduled for ‘MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines’

MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines will now be one of the most historic nights ever in the Maximum Fighting Championship.

For the first time in the 13-year run of the Maximum Fighting Championship, there will be three MFC titles at stake in one night when the spotlight hits the ring on Friday, October 4 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, and live on AXS TV Fights.

The MFC’s heavyweight belt will be on the line when two behemoths collide. Undefeated rising star Smealinho “The Prince” Rama is set to battle Anthony “Freight Train” Hamilton in what should be the most devastating matchup ever in the MFC’s heavyweight division.

Also freshly added to the action-packed lineup is a showdown for the MFC middleweight crown as fan favorite “Smilen” Sam Alvey tangles with debuting submission sensation Jason “The Mover” South.

The title trifecta is completed by the previously announced MFC bantamweight title fight pitting Anthony Birchak against Tito Jones. MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines airs live on AXS TV Fights beginning at 10 p.m. ET/8 p.m.MT/7 p.m. PT (check local listings for channel designation).

“I am ecstatic that we could put together three title fights for the first time in MFC history,” said Mark Pavelich, Owner/President of the Maximum Fighting Championship.

“To have these fighters compete for MFC belts all in one night is something we’re particularly proud of. The matchups are outstanding and without a doubt three deserving fighters will leave as champions.

“Our fans wanted title fights and we’re giving them the very best the Maximum Fighting Championship has to offer.”

Rama (6-0) is one of the hottest young stars in all of mixed martial arts. In 2012, he claimed the MFC’s Submission of the Year for his victory over Ryan Fortin, and went on to be named Fight Matrix’s Rookie of the Year. Rama (Twitter: @smealinhorama), who fights out of Calgary, Alberta, is ranked #35 in the world by Fight Matrix, and is coming off a devastating first-round knockout win over Mike Hackert at MFC 36. The ultra-talented 21-year-old has won all six of his bouts inside the opening round with none of them reaching the four-minute mark.

Newly signed Hamilton (9-2) makes his MFC debut having won three straight bouts highlighted by knockouts coming just seven and 38 seconds in two of those fights. The heavy-handed former college wrestler and football player is originally from Redmond, Washington, and now fights out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Hamilton boasts a total of four career knockouts and one submission victory.

For Alvey (20-5), this will be his second crack at the MFC middleweight title after falling just short in a razor-thin decision loss to Elvis Mutapcic at MFC 36. The Murrieta, California, product rebounded quickly as he clubbed down Jay Silva for a third-round TKO win at MFC 37. Alvey (Twitter: @smilensam) is ranked #52 in Fight Matrix’s middleweight standings, and boasts 12 knockouts and two submissions on his career log. The popular former reality show standout is married to former America’s Next Top Model winner McKey Sullivan.

South (10-0), a submission savant hailing from West Jordan, Utah, enters the MFC’s middleweight title picture on a tremendous role having registered nine wins via tapout including five inside in the opening round. South (Twitter: @jasonksouth) sports notable career victories over Kacey Uscola and Phil Dace.

“Six of the very best fighters the Maximum Fighting Championship has to offer competing for three world titles,” added Pavelich. “I couldn’t have asked for a better lineup, and I guarantee that the fans won’t be disappointed one bit. These are the types of fighters that should be challenging for MFC titles – guys who come to fight.”

Three more bouts will be named shortly to the MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines main card airing on AXS TV Fights. A full undercard lineup, which will be shown live on the MFC Facebook page, will also be announced in the near future.

Video: Remembering Shawn Tompkins

"The Coach" Shawn Tompkins


Shawn Tompkins impacted the entire MMA community throughout his life, and his memory continues prominent throughout the sport.  In this video, via Inside MMA, Tompkins’ students, friends and family give some of their fondest thoughts of “The Coach.”

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