MFC 11 Full Report
In a main event that was supposed to be a cake walk for UFC veteran Victor Valimaki, turned out to be anything but, as Jared Kilkenny made him run the gauntlet instead of the cake walk, pushing Valimaki to the brink before faltering in a see saw main event. Valimaki went straight for the takedown to start the fight, taking the fight to the mat and going to work right away trying to pass the guard. Kilkenny proved adept on the mat and after escaping a Valimaki armbar attempt, J-Rod worked his way out and to the back of Valimaki, from there he unloaded some very solid blows to the side of his head as Valimaki struggled to regain his footing in the corner. Kilkenny fired off numerous shots to the head that appeared to have Valimaki in trouble but with the ref looking on, The Matrix" was able to bob his way out back to the stand up position.
From there both fighters fired off haymakers until Valimaki landed a shot that stunned the fading Kilkenny standing, with Kilkenny looking hurt, Valimaki hesitated and instead of rushing in for the kill, stayed patient and found his mark with another well placed fist that crumbled the legs of Kilkenny and felled the game Lee Mein student for the count. Despite the scare, Valimaki showed heart when he was in trouble and is rumoured to be back on his way to the UFC, and looks poised to make a run, possibly in April.
In the semi main event of the evening Edmonton Eskimoss Canadian Football League rookie of the year, Adam The Boogyman Braidwood faced off against former Pan Am games Karate silver medalist Ryan Jimmo. At the weigh ins, Jimmo came to the scale with an Edmonton Eskimos t shirt and proceeded to tear it off his chest Hulk Hogan style before stepping on it. That same night Braidwoods cornerman Told MMARR that Jimmo sent roses to the hotel room of Braidwood in an effort to throw his opponent off his game, unfortunately for Jimmo, it didnt work. Braidwood put the prefight banter to rest, as he impressively knocked out Jimmo in the first round to push his MMA record to 1-0.
The MMA and CFL rookie, looked poised early but ended up on the wrong end of several well timed knees to the body courtesy of the aggressive Jimmo. The Boogyman stayed patient in the early goings taking the shots to the body early on in the bout and when he saw his opportunity, fired off a punch that careened off the head of Jimmo and sent him plummeting to the canvas. Braidwood wasted no time following up with numerous unanswered blows on the ground to the now obviously oblivious opponent, before the referee stepped in and halted the onslaught. Braidwood served notice that his surprisingly nimble 250+ pound frame was good for more then just football. The CFL first round draft choice had the last laugh and in the process took the well deserved Fighter of the Night award.
Up and coming Halifax light heavyweight Roger Hollett was able to make quick work of Canadian Football player Mike Maurer, landing a high kick that wobbled the former Grey Cup MVP and following up with a punch that knocked his foe out completely at 36 seconds of the first. In the scariest moment of the night Maurer fell the floor face first and laid motionless for what seemed like a minute as the ringside doctors leaped into the ring to work on him. In the end he got out on his own steam and was seen later at the close of the event walking around conversing with friends. Hollett, who is a relative unknown outside of Halifax made his mark out west with the knockout of the night and challenged Jason Day in his post fight speech.
Steve Bruno, who made his way to the Shaw Conference center via American Top Team headquarters in Coconut Creek, Florida, brought some of the world renowned ground game with him quickly dispatching of the always game Graydon Tannas. The Cowboy didnt have a chance to get his game going as Bruno took the back and squeezed until Tannas, who refused to tap out, fell limp and the ref stepped in to stop the bout in favour of the former Lions Den member Steve Bruno.
In the only fight on the card that went past the first round, Matt Dutkoski defeated Nigel Zettegreen via split decision after three close hard fought rounds of action that saw more then its fair share of blood spilt. In was one of the bloodiest fights in MFC history, Dutkoski used his superior wrestling to take the fight to the mat and work his way to a steadfast victory in a razor thin victory.
McGillivray continued to roll, taking out Aaron Gallant in the forth consecutive first round finish. Gallant landed a solid shot on the right eye of McGillivray in the opening moments of the fight that prompted him to take the fight to the ground, from there he took the back and attacked the side of Gallants head with bad intentions and it looked like a rear naked choke might be on the horizon. Gallant attempted to sneak out the back door to avert danger but The Kid transitioned to the armbar in turn and at 2:45 of Rd 1, secured the submission of the night award at MFC 11. McGillivray, who trains with Victor Valimaki and Jason MacDonald, was once briefly paralyzed following a lacrosse injury. Amazingly he has bounced back and appears to be on his way to a bright MMA future.
Sean Locke displayed some of the quality grappling work the Fabio Holanda student is known for, but not before taking some abuse at the hands of the heavy handed Chambers. Lockes inexperience in the stand up showed as Chambers was able to control the stand-up exchanges in the early goings, but Locke was eventually able to secure a takedown and used his superior jiu jitsu to pass to mount, and at the behest of corner-man Jason MacDonald elbowed and punched his opponent on the ground softening him up, before cinching in the fight finishing Arm Triangle choke that closed out the fight. Sean Locke over Dan Chambers Submission Arm Triangle Choke at 4:50 of the first stanza.
Ryan Machan was impressive in victory over Tim Blanchard, taking the fight to the ground, passing to side control, manoeuvring to the mount and unleashing a volley of strikes that eventually sealed the fate of his opponent. The referee kept a close eye on the action as Tim Blanchard did his best to deflect the punches as well as he could, but at 2:02 the referee had seen enough and stepped in to call the contest and prevent further punishment.
Kyle Ayotte secured a controversial win over Mike Bell in another first round finish but whether his opponent tapped or not became a question mark after the referee stopped the fight. Ayotte worked his way to the back of the Falcon on the ground and proceeded to work for the rear naked choke. Their backs were towards me so I couldnt see whether there was a tap or not, but Bell protested the ref stoppage saying he did NOT tap out. MMARR spoke to the referee after the fight and he told MMARR that he thought he saw Bell tap, there could be potential for a rematch based on the uncertain ending to the fight, but In the end Ayotte was awarded the victory over Bell via Submission Rear Naked Choke at 2:12 of round 1.
Josh Kyrejto took out Paul Ebejer via Submission Guillotine Choke in a quick fight that set the tone for a relatively quick night. Kyrejto landed a couple solid leg kicks before Kyrejto jumped to guard off a tie up and snaked his forearms in underneath his opponents throat, taking the guillotine choke to end the fight.
The MFC put on a well polished event and despite running head to head with the UFC ppv, drew a solid crowd and left them with much to be happy about. MFC president Mark Pavelich also gave a lifetime acheivement award to Max "Little Sumo" Marin and showed clips of the longtime MMA trainer during an intermission. They also showed clips of Jason MacDonald's UFC fight with Leben as MacDonald took the center of the ring and talked about his future fight with Rich Franklin on the March UFC card in Ohio.
The morning of the event, while eating noodles at a Vietnamese restaurant, I saw the MFC on the front page on one of the big Edmonton newspaper, surely a sign that MMA, in Edmonton, and throughout Canada is well on its way to mainstream popularity. Edmonton Commissioner Dale Kliparchuk also told MMARR that there were 28 media representatives at the event, an astronomical number that included popular sports TV networks such as the score, the Canadian Press, the Edmonton Journal, the Edmonton Sun, and more. Event highlights even ran on national sports programs such as Rogers Sportsnet, surely due in no small part to the two football players fighting on the card. This amount of coverage of a local Canadian event is almost unheard of. I found myself jockeying for photo positions with not only MMA Media, but expensive news cameras and huge Video equipment for the first time in memory, a great sign for the MFC and MMA going forward. Kudos to The Pavelich Family, Scott Zerr and the MFC team for drawing the type of attention that MMA has been yearning since the early days of the UFC.
MFC 11 Gridiron is scheduled to go to Pay Per View and eventually find its way to the Fight Network. Photo Galleries and post fight Video Interviews are to follow. MMARR-