Posts Tagged ‘Maximum Fighting Championship’
After his remarkable fight at MFC 37, Anthony Birchak feels no different pressure en route to making history at “MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines.”
Birchak (Twitter: @abichakmma) is scheduled to meet Tito Jones in the Maximum Fighting Championship’s inaugural bantamweight title fight at MFC 38 on Friday at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
Though, MFC fans voted for the main event on the MFC 38 card, Birchak’s match against Ryan Benoit is what placed former Rage in the Cage champion in this position. During the contest, which aired on AXS TV the same as MFC 38 will, commentators Michael “The Voice” Schiavello and Pat Miletich frequently made remarks in awe of the show they were witnessing.
Birchak defeated Benoit via unanimous decision (30-27, 29-28, 29-28) in a battle of epic proportions, and he feels the performance demands a little credit.
“It was a really back and forth fight, and I wish I didn’t make it look like that, you know what I mean?” Birchak told Jason Kelly and Corey Charron on MMA Cypher Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network.
“A lot of the (times) that I ended up in a bad situation it was because I was being careless, I think I gave him a little more thunder than he deserved. But it was a good fight and I think we put on a good show and I definitely think me and Benoit deserve a plaque that says fight of the year, for sure.”
Unfortunately for fighters like Birchak and Benoit, the annual Fighters Only MMA Awards are a popularity contest because the fans vote. This method allows casual fans to cast their opinion of the best bout each year – Yes, even the ones who only go out to the bar to watch the ‘big fights”- and that leads to the UFC’s biggest stars receiving unwarranted votes at times.
The UFC is a marketing machine, so they can’t be faulted for the fans’ decision, but it does take chances away from competitors like Birchak. To crown an indisputable MMA award winner in any category it would take a panel of judges that have watched every single MMA bout in a 12-month period. Yeah, that’s not going to happen.
Seeing as awards based on votes are out of Birchak’s control, he takes a different approach to swaying the ballot.
“There’s top-ranked fighters all across the world and they just don’t get the exposure, and that’s why I always try to leave a lasting memory for my fans,” Birchak said. “I want to leave it right there, seared in the frontal lobe. I’m all about my fans so hopefully that one will be there for a good while.”
As gratifying as Birchak’s triumphant bout against Benoit was, his first-ever MMA coach, Drew Fickett, taught him from the get go that it’s not about getting fight of the night. Fickett stressed that Birchak get in, get out and go early. Birchak appreciates a good scrap as much as the next man, but comprehends that a short day at the office is always a treat.
Birchak’s match with Benoit is in the past and he is focused on Jones. The Apex MMA teammate realizes the significance of the bout and becoming the first champion of the MFC’s newest weight class. Birchak cannot promise a grueling three-round fight against Jones, but can give his word that he will leave the ring a champion.
“Obviously, I want to put on something special, but the pressure is there whether it’s an inaugural fight, or a title fight.” Birchak said. “At MFC 37 it was the first MFC bantamweight fight ever, now it’s the first (MFC bantamweight) title fight ever. I’m here to be a pioneer, I’m here to be that guy that kicked off the bantamweight division, I’m here to be that guy who won the first bantamweight title. I’m here to be that guy. The pressure is always there no matter what fight it is.
“I told everyone my resolve is true and I will be the first MFC world bantamweight champion.”
*Below is a video of MFC 37, which features the main event between Birchak and Benoit.
MMA DieHards Radio stacked this episode with fighters, a promotion president and MMA apparel owner.
Hosts Jason Kelly (Twitter: @JayMMADieHards) and Joe Rizzo (Twitter: @rearnakedchoke) welcome MFC president Mark Pavelich, MFC middleweight title contender Sam Alvey, WSOF featherweight Georgi Karakhanyan and Fight Chix owner Elisabeth Nuesser.
Pavelich (Twitter: @MarkPavelich), President of the Maximum Fighting Championship, is approaching MFC 38 on Oct. 4 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. Pavelich is Canada’s leading MMA promoter and after 14 years in the sport he is taking the MFC to the next level. Being broadcast live on AXS TV, MFC 38 will showcase three title fights, with the fans voting for the evening’s main event.
Alvey (Twitter: @smilensam), who competes against Jason South at MFC 38 for the vacant middleweight title, joined the show and broke down his fight. “Smilin” is coming off a TKO victory against Jay Silva at MFC 37, and is making his third consecutive MFC appearance.
Karakhanyan (Twitter: @georgimma) is a new addition to the World Series of Fighting. The 25-fight featherweight has competed in multiple promotions throughout his career, but plans on sticking with WSOF, who he recently signed a four-fight, one-year contract with. Currently on a seven-fight win streak, Karakhanyan meets Waylon Lowe at WSOF 5 on Sept. 14 at the Revel Casino in Atlantic City, N.J.
Nuesser (Twitter: @FIGHTCHIX) is a pioneer in female branded MMA clothing and sponsoring women in the fight business. Nuesser reflected on some of past experiences, both good and bad, in the sport and provided her views of WMMA today. When listening to Nuesser’s guest spot be sure to pay attention for a way to save 15-20 percent off your Fight Chix order.
Video preview of “MFC 38: Behind Enemy Lines,” which takes place Oct. 4 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta. For the first time in the promotion’s history they are showcasing three title fights, including Anthony Birchak vs. Tito Jones for the bantamweight title, Sam Alvey vs. Jason South for the middleweight championship, and Smealinho Rama vs. Anthony Hamilton for the heavyweight belt.
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
* 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.
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.
When a mixed martial artist has all of their wins come via submission, they get labeled, but don’t be so quick to judge Jason Zentgraf.
Zentgraf (Twitter: @JasonZentgraf) is a Maximum Fighting Championship middleweight, sporting a 7-1 record, with all his victories coming by way of submission. His next visit to the ring is Friday at “MFC 37: True Grit” against Luke Harris at the Shaw Centre in Edmonton, Alberta.
Zentgraf trains at Dogpound Fight Team in Missoula, Mont., alongside the likes of Bellator Season 6 lightweight semifinalist Lloyd Woodard, amongst many other talents. He said his jiu-jitsu is feeling crisp from working with Woodard and heavyweights like John Ragsdale, who weighs approximately 300 pounds, but that’s not to say his striking isn’t just as fluent as his ground game.
“It hurts when people say, ‘He’s just a jiu-jitsu guy,’” Zentgraf said. “I’m like, ‘Nah, not really.’ It’s frustrating, it doesn’t really affect me that much, but it’s kind of annoying to keep hearing it. I want to go out there and put on a good show, and for fans that aren’t as well educated, they think the ground is boring. When someone doesn’t understand the ground, they look at it as two dudes just rolling around on the ground, and they want to see strikes. Even if you don’t know anything about the sport, a fan can understand what’s going on when they see striking.”
Ironically, Zentgraf’s opponent, Harris (9-2), is also a mixed martial artist that earned all his wins via submission.
When two combatants square off with recorded victories or backgrounds that are similar, such as, wrestling, jiu-jitsu, judo; the fighters cancel each other’s strongest attribute. This forces them to utilize what striking techniques they have in their arsenal. Therefore, a match with Harris could be the perfect bout for Zentgraf to demonstrate his stand-up abilities that have caught everyone’s eye in the gym.
“It could very easily go to a submission, but hopefully I am able to keep it standing,” Zentgraf said. “I’d like to work some of the striking that I am so good at and hopefully put him on his butt. I’m disappointed in my last two performances. I won, they were pretty decisive, but I wasn’t able to showcase my striking in either of the fights, and a lot of people don’t think I have striking, especially when you look at my record-all submissions. But most people that train with me, they remember my striking over my jiu-jitsu. My jiu-jitsu is very good, but it’s my striking that usually gives people more problems, so that’s what I’m hoping to implement. But if he does want to clinch and go to the ground, obviously I am very prepared for it.”
Providing he gets a victory over Harris, Zentgraf will be on a five-fight win streak, with his most recent three triumphs occurring under the MFC banner. In that instance, there could be a case made that the Big Fight Management signee deserves a title match.
Being granted a chance to win one of the few coveted belts in MMA, the MFC middleweight title, also brings more face time with the media and fans. Their broadcast partnerships with AXS TV and TSN result in garnering new fans all the time. It would be a big commitment, but one Zentgraf is ready for.
“I love interacting with the fans,” Zentgraf said. “When I talk to the fans, they remember who I am when I fight. It helps to build my name a little bit and fans remember who I am when they see my fight, then want to see me in a title fight. Actually, if I can put Luke Harris away, which, if I am on point I know I can, and make it an entertaining fight, I hope to get a title shot.
“There were talks if I put Clay Davidson away decisively, I would get a title fight; unfortunately that didn’t happen. It wasn’t a very exciting fight, second round was alright, first (round) was kind of boring, a lot of clinch and stuff. When I watched it, Michael Schiavello could appreciate the technique I was using, but there wasn’t much action besides a few liver shots I landed. I’m hoping this fight will be more action, more blood, more punches in the face, more excitement, and then I get a title shot.”
Zentgraf isn’t a grappler, or a striker, he’s a mixed martial artist seeking a world title.