Posts Tagged ‘Maximum Fighting Championship’
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.
Mark Pavelich is the President of Maximum Fighting Championship and he has been grinding tooth and nail since the beginning. Long before the UFC ventured into Canada, the MFC was making footprints across the country.
“I’m no poser, I’m a pioneer,” Pavelich told MMADieHards.com. “I started this, did everybody forget? I’ve been here from the beginning. I’m not some guy that jumped on the bandwagon just to get involved in MMA. Those people should be embarrassed with themselves.”
Pavelich has enjoyed enormous success and knows why he has achieved so much, yet he considers it a shame in a way.
“I’m an MMA savant,” Pavelich admitted. “You know that kid who is great on the piano but can’t do anything else? That’s me and MMA. I know MMA, I know the business, I know what it tastes like, I know what it smells like, but it’s kind of sad in a way because I don’t know anything about anything else.
“I’m not trying to sell you cars or give you advice on world hunger because I don’t know about that stuff. I know MMA and that’s it.”
Pavelich did not come up over night and dump all of his money into one show, he follows a formula that works for him and he intends to stick by it.
“It’s a progression, it’s inch by inch,” Pavelich explained. “I get another inch and another inch, that’s how I think when I put this thing together. I don’t (think) I’m here today and tomorrow I’m going to do a 30,000-seat venue. That’s not how I do business.
“I want to make great cards better, I want to make the cage look better, I want the spit buckets to look better (and) I want to make this thing called MFC look better.”
Pavelich’s long journey broke down a lot of barriers in Canadian MMA and it has taken him into one of the first shows in Ontario, “MFC 29: Conquer.” MFC 29 takes place this Friday in Windsor, Ontario, at Caesars Windsor Hotel & Casinoo. The event has a sprinkle of popular names with a mix of current MFC champions, plus a few hometown fighters. All in all, Pavelich is proud to put this card on in his hometown.
“People told me to go to the states and go here and there. They can forget it,” Pavelich stated. “If you want to see a good show, go to Caesars Palace in Windsor on April 8. “
Pavelich has created a show which offers not one, but two title bouts, featuring MFC’s light heavyweight champion Ryan Jimmo, and their welterweight champ Douglas Lima. Jimmo is a Canadian with an extensive background in karate, and Pavelich is very fond of him.
“He’s been my favorite champion, no disrespect to my other guys at all,” Pavelich confessed. “Outside of the fighting even, he’s even been a great champion. We went to a high school and the line-up to see him was insane. He’s been out in the community and he represents the MFC belt better than anyone I have ever seen before.”
Lima, the other title-holder on this card, will be defending his belt against UFC castaway Terry Martin, and Pavelich finds the Brazilian’s representation of the belt astonishing.
“Lima is unbelievable,” Pavelich admitted. “It’s actually moving for me, and I hate to sound corny, but I’m not an emotional guy and recently I have become that way because of how Lima conducts himself as a champion.”
MFC will also be showcasing one of its more recent acquisitions with Marcus Davis at MFC 29. Davis has never been involved in a boring fight, win or lose, and Pavelich knew signing the free-agent was a “no-brainer.”
“I think Davis is iconic,” Pavelich explained. “Marcus is a guy that you embrace and admire no matter what he does. He’s one of those guys that puts their guts on the line every time he fights and I love that. It’s not even a matter of business when you sign a guy like Marcus; it’s a no-brainer.”
Pavelich has built MFC into a worthy, legitimate organization and while he does not expect to be praised, the Ontario native does feel he should at least be respected.
“I don’t expect a statue of me downtown Edmonton or Windsor,” Pavelich said. “People do shows where I live and I respect them for working hard, but at the same time the amount of disrespect they show me is almost sinful. I expect them to show our family the respect we deserve because we started all of this.”
Pavelich does not try to compete with the UFC and he analogizes the comparison between the two in a very interesting way.
“We’re like a Breitling watch and the UFC is the Rolex,” Pavelich explained. “ A Breitling watch is still a real cool watch and if you have one you’re like ‘oh I got a Breitling watch.’ That’s what MFC is. We’re never going to do shows for 20,000 nor do I want to.”
Pavelich and his trailblazing ways have solidified Canadian MMA, and the next person trying to start-up a promotion north of the border should take the time to thank and respect the person who started this, the pioneer, Mark Pavelich.
Douglas Lima will be one of the first fighters to fight on Ontario soil since the province legalized mixed martial arts. Interestingly, numerous MMA websites indicate he also fought in the state of New York, a place where MMA is still not legal.
How is that even possible? Well, in reality, it’s not.
“Nah bro, I never fought in New York before,” Lima told MMA DieHards in an interview. “Maybe Alabama, but not Albany. These people need to get their stories straight.
“I wish they would legalize it so I could fight in New York.”
As bad as Lima wants to fight in the Big Apple one day, he has a historic fight this Friday in Windsor, Ontario, to defend his Maximum Fighting Championship welterweight strap. The champ will be taking on hard-hitting veteran Terry Martin in one of the first title matches in Ontario MMA history.
Lima is aware of Martin’s knockout power. Nonetheless, he feels he has put in the work with his training partners at American Top Team to stifle the crafty veteran.
“I’ve been training for about two months now,” Lima informed MMA DieHards. “I’m training at ATT with my usual partners. I got some good wrestlers, good strikers and good everything.”
Lima does not particularly see a weakness in Martin’s game that he can exploit. However, the ATT product does believe that he is the superior fighter no matter where the bout takes place.
“Wherever the fight goes, I’m good,” Lima stated. “We train for everything so I’ll be ready in every area. I just got to be careful of those big hooks that he throws, but other than that, I’m good.”
Lima is well-suited for the 170-pound division, but his foe used to fight at 205 pounds. That could give Martin a massive size advantage over the champ, although the Brazilian does not view it that way.
“He used to fight at heavier weight classes, not anymore,” Lima explained. “He’s down in my weight class now so we’ll be the same. Once he makes it down to 170 (pounds) he won’t put that much weight back on. Probably 20 pounds, so that won’t be a factor.”
Lima is not intimidated by Martin’s one-punch knockout power or his experience in organizations such as the UFC and Strikeforce, therefore the champ does not put the extra pressure of this being his first MFC title defense on his shoulders either.
“If anything it makes me train harder,” Lima admitted. “People want what I have right now because I’m the champion, so I train extra hard and look at the fight as if I’m fighting for the belt. I don’t look at it as I’m the champion and I have to do this. I just want to go in there and fight my fight, and forget about the belt or championship or whatever and just do what I do in training.”
Lima is a focused, determined fighter that is not easily diverted by outside distractions, but there is the aspect of fighting in Ontario that really makes the jiu-jitsu fighter enthusiastic.
“It’s super-exciting to be a part of it,” Lima said. “I have to thank Mark (Pavelich) and the MFC for bringing me there and I can’t wait to see the fans in Ontario. It’s going to be a good show, I’m sure of it.”
At only 23 years old, Lima knows he has a lot of work ahead of him to become the fighter he wants to be.
“I’d like to think I’m complete, but there’s a lot of work to do,” Lima confessed. “I’ve been training since I was three years old, I got a brown belt in jiu-jitsu, I’ve been doing Muay Thai for the last eight years, but I still want to get better in every area. I want to improve my stand-up, my jiu-jitsu and my wrestling especially.
“I’m young though, I’m a kid to this sport. That’s how I look at it. I’m still learning and getting better and I expect to be better when I come to every fight. I am training to be a perfect fighter.”
Lima already has 21 fights under his belt and he sports a 17-4 record, which he will look to improve when he engages in battle with Martin (21-8) this Friday at “MFC 29: Conquer”. Win or lose, Lima will be a part of history that night. Now let’s hope those New York politicians see the light of day so that Lima’s fight in the “City that Never Sleeps” can turn from fiction to reality.
Ryan “Big Deal” Jimmo is the Maximum Fighting Championship light heavyweight champion and his first title defense is upon him. The champ is preparing for his upcoming bout and he sees no reason to complain.
“Everything is going good, and even if I complained no one would listen if I did, so I don’t bother,” Jimmo joked with MMA DieHards in an interview.
Jimmo has been busy in the gym planning for his first challenger, a challenger that comes just one month removed from winning the belt, but “Big Deal” admits he stayed in shape between fights.
“I was already in shape coming off my last win,” Jimmo explained. “I took a week off, then I got right back in training camp, so I’m firing on all cylinders right now. I trained right here in Edmonton, I did my jiu-jitsu at Hayabusa, my stand-up at Frank Lee’s and my wrestling at the university.”
Jimmo did not visit any other gyms or bring in any guests because as he simply puts it, “There’s more than enough here in Edmonton to get ready for a fight.”
Jimmo was originally supposed to meet Emanuel Newton in the championship fight, but Newton was forced to withdraw from the fight due to an injury sustained in training. Journeyman Zak Cummings substituted as a late replacement and Jimmo is seemingly unfazed by the change.
“They’re both wrestler-based guys with rudimentary stand-up for the most part,” Jimmo said. “The only difference is that Zak’s a lefty, so I just got to get used to fighting a lefty, but I’m pretty in tune with lefties and I can switch from right to left hand. I can screw him up just as much he can screw me up.
“Stuff like that doesn’t distract me; I keep my composure as best I can and keep training as hard as I possibly can. I think Emanuel is a little better fighter than Zak, but I can’t say that for sure so I just keep training hard like I’m fighting a world champion. I just had to switch up my game plan a little bit.”
Jimmo won the MFC light heavyweight strap by destroying Dwayne Lewis at MFC 28 in a fight that ended in a TKO via doctor’s stoppage, but now he must defend that belt and become a reigning champion. Jimmo alleviates the pressure of this title defense by not downplaying the importance of the belt.
“When I was doing karate I was champion for many years,” Jimmo told DieHards. “To me, I train the same even if I have a gold medal or a belt around my waist, I feel like I’m an improving fighter and I want to be the best that I can be. It’s just another fight except there’s a piece of gold and leather on the line. I don’t feel any extra pressure; I actually feel more of an incentive to perform for the crowd.”
The New Brunswick native is prepared and getting anxious for his bout on April 8 at Caesars Casino in Windsor, Ontario.
“My weight is great,” Jimmo explained. “I woke up this morning at 220 pounds so the weight should come off pretty easy and all sparks are flying right now. I’m just waiting until game time.”
The former karate champion has competed in MMA events across Canada, but this is one of the first MMA events sanctioned in Ontario and as a Canadian himself, Jimmo is honored to be a part of this affair.
“This is awesome,” said Jimmo. “I know the fans in Ontario are going to be hungry to see MMA up close and personal. I’m sure some fans from Ontario have made some trips to shows outside of Ontario, but this is right in their backyard so I want to make sure I put on a good show for them.”
MMA may be new to Ontario; however, competing in the province that houses the nation’s capitol will not be new to Jimmo.
“I’ve competed for karate a few times in Ontario,” Jimmo said. “I’ve competed in Toronto and a couple of other places there.”
When Jimmo traded karate for MMA he found himself competing for MFC in his very first bout. “Big Deal” dropped that fight, but has not lost since then, stringing together 14 consecutive wins to hold a career mark of 14-1. Though the champ has bounced to a few different organizations, Jimmo has been with MFC for his last five fights and he now calls them home.
“It’s a comfortable home,” Jimmo admitted. “Mark (Pavelich) and I get along good, we’ve had some tiny hiccups here and there along the way, but we get along very well and things are going nicely under the MFC banner. It’s good for now.”
Jimmo will look to change his stature from champion to defending champion this Friday at “MFC 29: Conquer”, and if the Canadian can do that on his own soil he will definitely not have anything to complain about.
Every Monday, MMA DieHards takes a look at the upcoming week’s schedule of small regional and international shows with a focus on UFC and Pride veterans as well as consensus-ranked fighters. Here’s what’s going down between April 4 and April 10:
Spotlight Event: Maximum Fighting Championship 29: Conquer (Windsor, Ontario, Canada; April 8 )
Douglas Lima (17-4) will defend his MFC welterweight belt against UFC and Strikeforce veteran Terry Martin (21-8)…Ryan Jimmo (14-1) will put his MFC light heavyweight strap on the line against Bellator and Strikeforce veteran Zak Cummings (13-2)…UFC veteran Marcus Davis (17-8) clashes with Curtis Demarce (10-8)…UFC veteran Hermes Franca (20-11) is slated to face Robert Washington (9-2)…UFC and Strikeforce veteran Pete Spratt (21-19) goes up against Bellator vet Demi Deeds (15-8)…The event airs live on HDNet at 10 p.m. ET.
24/7 Entertainment: Professional Cage Fighting (Midland, Tex.; April 8 )
UFC and WEC veteran Will Campuzano (8-4) squares off with Randy Hinds (5-3).
Gruesome MMA: The Homecoming (Prestonsburg, Ky.; April 8 )
UFC veteran Joe Jordan (46-12-2) locks horns with Strikeforce vet Billy Vaughan (9-7)…TUF 12 alum and Strikeforce veteran Marc Stevens (12-6) welcomes Charlie Mullins (0-0) to the pro ranks…The event airs live via pay-per-view internet stream at GoFightLive.
Ring of Combat XXXV (Atlantic City, N.J.; April 8 )
UFC and EliteXC veteran Chris Liguori (12-8) meets M-1 Challenge vet Mikhail Malyutin (17-10)…UFC and Strikeforce veteran Sean Salmon (18-13) fights Tom DeBlass (3-0)…The event airs live via pay-per-view internet stream at GoFightLive.
Rogue Warrior Championship (El Paso, Tex.; April 8 )
UFC veteran Mike Van Arsdale (8-5) is slated to face Esteves Jones (6-1)…UFC and Bellator veteran Rich Clementi (39-18-1) tussles with Josh Hinkle (8-2).
XCage: Predators (Tijuana, Mexico; April 8 )
TUF 8 champion and UFC veteran Efrain Escudero (15-2) takes on Strikeforce and WEC vet Ashe Bowman (9-8)…UFC and WEC veteran Edgar Garcia (9-2) locks horns with Bellator vet Edwin Aguilar (22-15).
Hoosier Fight Club 7: Validation (Valparaiso, Ind.; April 9)
UFC veteran Forrest Petz (22-9) goes up against TUF 6 alum and Strikeforce vet John Kolosci (14-7)…UFC and IFL veterans Keith Wisniewski (26-12-1) and Chris Wilson (16-7) will do battle.
Jackson’s MMA Series 4 (Albuquerque, N.M.; April 9)
No. 10-ranked 135-pound female fighter and EliteXC veteran Julie Kedzie (15-8) clashes with EliteXC vet Kaitlin Young (4-4).
King of Kombat 10: Mass Destruction (Austin, Tex.; April 9)
UFC and Pride veteran Jorge Patino (23-13-1) battles Cleburn Walker (9-5)…Bellator and Pride veteran Luiz Azeredo (15-9) is slated to face Derek Campos (4-1).
Ringside MMA 10: Cote vs. Starnes (Montreal, Quebec, Canada; April 9)
In a fight that made Sherdog’s list of 10 April Tussles Worth Watching, Martin Desilets (11-2) squares off with Roger Hollett (11-3)…The evening’s headliner features a battle between UFC veterans Kalib Starnes (12-5-1) and Patrick Cote (13-7)…TUF 11 alum and IFL veteran Seth Baczynski (12-6) and prospect Alex Garcia (6-0) will vie for the interim welterweight title…The main card will air live on pay-per-view and the preliminary card airs live on The Fight Network in Canada…The event also airs live via pay-per-view internet stream at GoFightLive.
Ultimate Cage Battles: Stars and Stripes (Parma, Ohio; April 9)
M-1 Challenge and IFL veteran Eduardo Pamplona (13-2) tangles with Joe Bunch (12-3).
Xtreme Knockout 10 (Arlington, Tex.; April 9)
UFC and Bellator veteran Jake Rosholt (9-3) meets Bellator vet Brandon McDowell (32-29).
American MMA Fight League (Newtown, Pa.)
Brutaal Genesis: The Rebirth (Maplewood, Ala.)
Classic Entertainment and Sports MMA 5: Cage of Pain (Lincoln, R.I.)
Rogue Warrior Cage Fighting Championships: Fighting for Our Wounded (El Paso, Tex.)
Tuff-N-Uff: Future Stars of MMA (Las Vegas)
Arena Gold Fight 3 (Piracicaba, Sao Paulo, Brazil)
Battle at the Fort IV (Hays, Kan.)
Cage Fight Live 1 (Herning, Denmark)
Caged Combat MMA (Flint, Mich.)
Caged on Campus 2 (Nelsonville, Ohio)
Extreme Challenge 178 (Oskaloosa, Iowa)
Extreme Challenge MMA (Quincy, Ill.)
FightWorld Cup 8: Road to Victory (Nerang, Queensland, Australia)
ICE 52 (Cincinnati, Ohio)
Iron Man 4 (Savage, Minn.)
King of the Cage: Outkasts (Lac Du Flambeau, Wis.)
Kombat Zone 28 (Waterloo, Ind.)
Legacy Fighting Championship (Houston, Tex.)
NAAFS: Proving Ground MMA Series 4 (Akron, Ohio)
Premier Fighting Championship 5 (Amherst, Mass.)
Respect Fighting Championship 5 (Essen, Germany)
Samurai Fight Night 3 (Aberdare, Midglamorgan, Wales)
Tenth Legion: Symbol of Power (Hull City, England)
Xtreme Fight Promotions: Hard Knox at the Rox (Wilmington, N.C.)
Shooto: Gig Saitama 3 (Fujimi, Saitama, Japan)
Ultimate Cage Championships Contenders: Future Champions (Stockport, Greater Manchester, England)