Pat Healy survived some furious ground and pound and a few heavy-duty slams from Ryan Ford before securing a submission victory to claim the Maximum Fighting Championships world welterweight title Friday night at the River Cree Resort and Casino just outside Edmonton, Alberta.
Healy (23-14) was under pressure for most of the first two rounds and was on the receiving end of several punishing elbow strikes as Ford went on the attack. But Healy also put Ford in his fair share of trouble especially at the end of Round 1 as he went for an armbar. Ford left Healy bloodied and bruised after Round 2 and even opened Round 3 with a big slam. Yet it was Healy who turned the tide of the fight quickly by keeping Fords arm locked up coming out of the slam and forcing him to tap out in the middle of the ring at 3:00 of the third.
With the win, Healy becomes the first MFC welterweight champion and proudly wears the most spectacular looking belt in all of mixed martial arts. For his effort, Healy also picked up the Submission of the Night bonus.
I may not be the most talented fighter but I have heart and thats what won it for me, said the Portland, Oregon and Team Quest product. I didnt think he was as good as everyone was saying but when we started to fight I knew he was very strong and he was much better than I thought.
Ford (6-1) saw his unbeaten record fall along with his title aspirations but admirably talked about the heart-breaking loss. Hes a tough guy and he caught me a few times with the armbar. I was able to get out of it at first but he got it on me the last time and I couldnt do anything about it, said Ford, who was fighting in front of hugely partisan home-town crowd. Ill be back as soon as I can and I want a rematch.
The exciting main event capped a terrific night of fights before the MFCs 10th consecutive sold-out crowd that included HDNet and Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban.
Featured on the card were two key lightweight matchups that should determine the two top contenders for the MFCs 155-pound title. New Mexicos Donald Sanchez (14-7) moved into title contention when he locked a triangle choke on Texan Jason Maxwell (15-7) to get the win by tapout at 4:03 of the second round.
With the win Sanchez took a big step toward the title and quite possibly that showdown will come against Ben Henderson (6-1) who battled through a constant jiu-jitsu attack from Brazils Ricardo Tirloni. But Henderson reversed things and scored big with a submission of his own and winning with a guillotine choke at 3:49 of the second round.
There was no doubt who earned the Knockout of the Night. Oklahomas Aron Lofton rocked the jaw of Dwayne Lewis with a wicked right that spun Lewis and dropped him face first to the canvas only 17 seconds into the first round of their light heavyweight bout.
Ron Faircloth def. Levi Avera 2:57 Round 2, tapout via rear-naked choke
Ryan Machan def. Ryan Heck 4:19 Round 1, TKO
Mike Sorensen def. Lemont Davis 2:52 Round 1, TKO
Jay Whitford def. Jason Kuchera 4:31 Round 2, tapout via armbar
Gavin Neil def. Evan Sanguin 4:11 Round 1, TKO
Elliot Duff def. Brandon Curts 4:30 Round 1, TKO
Jason Zorthian def. Jesse Clarke 5:00 Round 3, unanimous decision