Pat Bam Bam Healy used a relentless ground attack to retain the Maximum Fighting Championships world welterweight title with a five-round split decision victory over Ryan The Real Deal Ford inside a sold-out River Cree Resort and Casino and live on HDNet Fights.
Healy (25-14) dominated the middle rounds to earn the win in the much-anticipated rematch between the rival 170-pounders. The Portland, Oregon, product had captured the vacant MFC welterweight belt at MFC 17 when he secured a submission by armbar in the third round against Ford (8-2) despite taking a vicious ground-and-pound beating over the first two rounds.
The fight opened with Healy proving to be a man of his word and as he looked to establish his wrestling game with two early takedowns. In the middle of the round, Ford began his patented slams and almost slammed himself into a deep guillotine.
Ford slammed Healy again in Round 2 but ended up giving up his back to Healy with a minute left in the round.
In Round 3, Ford slammed Healy once more, forcing both men to scramble and wrestle for position. Healy ended up with side control, then mount but Ford used a well-timed Kimura to sweep before the bell.
In the fourth, Healy again slid his way to rear mount and a body triangle, all the while reigning hammer fists from the side. The round ends in the rear body triangle. With the home-town crowd urging on Ford, he started Round 5 with a huge slam that sent Healy crashing to the mat from five feet up. Ford, however, couldnt find a finish and the fight went to the scorecards where it was somewhat surprisingly a split among the ringside judges though all three scored the bout the same at 48-47.
Immediately after the win, Healy was dealt an on-air challenge by Nick The Goat Thompson won earlier in the night had won an international superfight over Paul Daley.
Antonio McKee captured the MFCs world lightweight title as the organization put its 155-pound belt up for the first time. McKee (28-3) was caught with a vicious head kick in the first round and crumpled to the mat but the veteran was able to prevent rival challenger Derrick Noble (24-12) from doing anymore damage during the match. McKees superior wrestling and conditioning made the difference and he swept the verdict on the judges scorecards.
Thompson (39-10) overcame a second-round knockdown and took care of business the rest of the way to edge out Semtex Daley (19-8).
Daley, who failed to make weight for the second straight fight, clearly struggled with his conditioning as the fight wore on but he did survive a strong Kimura attempt by Thompson late in Round 3. Daley nearly finished the fight in Round 2 when connected perfectly with a right hand behind Thompsons ear but The Goat defended well and was able to escape the round.
Two fighters staked their claim to get into their respective title pictures. Middleweight Bryan The Beast Baker (9-1) fought through two tight submission attempts by Rory Singer (12-9) before landing a series of bombs in the dying moments of Round 1 that laid out Singer. Baker, who was making his MFC debut, claimed after the fight to be ready for a crack at the 185-pound belt originally won by Patrick The Predator Cote. And David Heath (11-4) looked ready to regain his footing in the MFCs light heavyweight division as he handed former champion Roger Hollett (8-3) his second straight setback with a dynamic guillotine choke that earned him Submission of the Night honors at 2:57 of Round 1.
Evan Sanguin, a student of Jason The Athlete MacDonald, earned the Knockout of the Night as he slammed his way to a big victory over Alain Hernandez (2-3). It was the second KO of the Night trophy for Sanguin (7-2) who could soon be a serious threat at either 155 or the MFCs new 145-pound division.
Sanguins win was teamed with two more victories for the MacDonald camp. Ryan Machan (10-2) won his seventh fight in the MFC and jumped into the lightweight mix with a convincing first-round submission of Simon Marini (6-2). MacDonalds own jiu-jitsu coach, Josh Russell (3-0), had no trouble as he showcased a slick triangle choke in lightning-quick fashion for the win over Donovan Foley (7-3).
In other action, the televised portion of the card on HDNet Fights opened with Solomon Hutcherson (15-5) scoring the win over Dave Mewborn (7-1) in a terrific middleweight battle that saw both fighters do some serious damage although Hutcherson clearly left an impression on Mewborns mug with some bullet uppercuts. And the show opened with fan favorite Brad Zazulak (4-0) making relatively quick work of Richard Symonds (1-1) with a first-round TKO win.
MFC 21: Hard Knocks will be live on HDNet Fights from the River Cree Resort and Casino on Friday, May 15. Tickets for the event go on sale Monday, February 23 through the MFC Ticket Hotline at (780) 504-2024 and through Ticketmaster.ca and Ticketmaster charge by phone at (780) 451-8000.