MFC 37 update: Main-event cancelled, Benoit vs. Birchak will headline card

May 9, 2013


MFC 37 update: Main-event cancelled, Benoit vs. Birchak will headline card

By Mike Hammersmith –  The premier Canadian MMA organization is back with another stellar card this Friday with MFC 37: True Grit. Pitting home-grown talent with some of the best free agents on the market is what Maximum Fighting Championship continues to bring with each event.

MFC 37 was supposed to be headlined by a heavyweight title fight between young rising Smealinho Rama and the MMA veteran Chris Barnett. Unfortunately days before the event Barnett was not cleared to fight after three holes in his retina were discovered during an eye examination. Instead of risking further injury and possible blindness the fight was scrapped and the bantamweight bout between Ryan Benoit and Anthony Birchak will now serve as the MFC 37 main event.

The loss of the heavyweight title fight hurts but the MFC 37 fight card still features plenty of good fights, so let’s take a look at the action in store for us this Friday.

Ryan Benoit vs. Anthony Birchak: MFC is starting up its own Bantamweight division and have kicked it off with two of the best free agents in the game, pitting Ryan Benoit against Anthony Birchak. Both men are lifelong wrestlers who transitioned into muay thai, and ultimately MMA, yet come in with very difficult games. Benoit’s style is all about pocket punching and fast single leg shots, while Birchak’s national championship Greco skills are used to dump guys to the mat inside the pocket and keep fighters on the end of his long strikes. Both fighters are exceptional talents, but Benoit’s ability to hold position on the mat and more dynamic striking game should be enough to pull out the win in the inaugural Bantamweight fight.

Sam Alvey vs. Jay Silva: Two of the heaviest hitters in the Middleweight division, Jay Silva and Sam Alvey will look to rebound from their last losses and get back into the title picture. Silva is a crushing puncher, but his chin and lack of wrestling has long been an Achilles heel in his career, with his last fight being no exception. Considering Alvey’s brutal counter-punching and functional wrestling game, this is a fight I can’t see Silva pulling off too often as Alvey puts him down and out in the first round.

Jason Zentgraf vs. Luke Harris: MFC’s home-grown products will face of in a cancelled bout from the last event, as Jason Zentgraf takes on elder fighter Luke Harris. Harris is a judoka looking to get as far into the MMA world as he can in the last years of his combat sports career. Having the insane grappling strength of a worldly grappler, Harris has taken down and tapped many foes with relative ease, yet finds himself needing to diversify his overall game if he’s going to make it much further in this sport. Zentgraf comes in as an able-bodied fighter with a modern MMA game, and stands as a firm test to Harris; long-range striking and slick submissions from guard being his keys to victory. Considering age and injury, I have a hard time seeing Harris pull this one-off as Zentgraf is a complete fighter, and short of getting a fast takedown into dominant position, Harris will be stuck on the defensive here. A spirited effort from the Judoka but one that doesn’t pan out as Zentgraf finishes Harris with a series of knees midway through the bout.

Kurt Southern vs. Mukai Maromo: A sleeper fight of the night and one that will determine both men’s career arc, gritty wrestler Kurt Southern will face former title contender and muay thai master Mukai Maromo. Southern comes off of a tough loss, having been seconds from a decision win over Jonathan Novaes before a fast armbar snatched his victory away. On the other side of the ring, Maromo comes back from a disappointing performance against Spencer Graham, having been ground to an exhausted mess in the ring before being finished in the 3rd round. Maromo is clearly talented, but his game hasn’t rounded out well over the last two years, and major adjustments that need to be made have largely been avoided. This doesn’t bode well, considering Southern isn’t far removed from guys like Lynn and Graham, whom both gave Maromo fits due to their strong takedowns and top game. Without learning to counter the takedown effectively, Maromo gives this fight away to Southern, who will pummel his foe for the win.

Complete MFC 37 Fight Card:

Ryan Benoit vs. Anthony Birchak

Sam Alvey vs. Jay Silva

Jason Zentgraf vs. Luke Harris

Kurt Southern vs. Mukai Maromo

Garret Nybakken vs. Peter Neufeld

Marcus Hicks vs. Jared McComb

Allen Hope vs. Paul Grandbois

Maged Hammo vs. Allan Munroe

Mike Treadwell vs. Thomas Treadwell



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