Sunday, May 1, 2011

Mark Pavelich and the MFC 'Eff Up Again: Antonio McKee No Longer LW Champ

As I have in the past, I'll start this entry with the usual MFC disclaimer: I am an avid fan of the Maximum Fighting Championships, and I enjoy, respect, and appreciate the efforts of the MFC's fighters.

Wait, here's the big "BUT"...

BUT, I just wish the MFC's management would get their acts together. Our last go-in about the Maximum Fight Championships addressed MFC president/owner Mark Pavelich's classless comments about MMA refs. Now it looks like the MFC has scheduled a title bout without the titleholder.

As far as I knew, Antonio McKee was the promotion's reigning lightweight champion. McKee first won the title at MFC 20 back in 2009 with a five round decision over Derrick Noble. He last defended the title in September 2010, when he stopped highly touted Brazilian Luciano Azevedo by way of first round TKO. From there McKee moved on to the UFC, loosing his first and only UFC bout against Jacob Volkmann, before being released by top brand promotion, after which he was received by his long-time home, the MFC. McKee was still listed as the MFC's Lightweight Champion up until maybe a week ago.

McKee was originially scheduled to face Drew Fickett in a lightweight title bout at MFC 28 in February. However, a knee injury force McKee to sit out. Instead Drew Fickett would meet Matt Veach, a fight he went on to win via submission. Meanwhile, McKee went underwent knee surgery, and continues to rehabilitate:

“I just had a tear in my minescus, and I put off the surgery for a while, but now it’s done. I’m good, I’m walking around, I’m going to therapy and rehabilitating,” McKee told MMAWeekly.

Back in Edmonton, the MFC is preparing for MFC 30, which will take place on June 10. The event features a main event lightweight title affair between Drew Fickett and Hermes Franca -- no Antonio McKee.

Apparently, Antonio was not informed of the change. He also told MMAWeekly:

“I spoke to Mark Pavelich (Friday) morning and discussed with him that I am still the MFC lightweight champion as I understood. He discussed with me that Drew Fickett and Hermes Franca were fighting for the title. That’s what it is.

“As a promoter, I guess you can make that decision, but as a champion and as a fighter, I feel that I haven’t been beat; therefore, I don’t feel like those guys are legit.

“I plan on fulfilling that contract, getting the title back. At that point, if me and Mark don’t come to some kind of terms of agreement, then I’ll probably retire and move forward or find another organization."

Is 'Pav' Hating???

Remember when Antonio McKee first went to the UFC (even though it didn't last very long)? Well, MFC president Mark Pavelich was not very happy. MMA Sucka contacted Pav and this is what he had to say:

“It makes me sick! I spoke with Antonio yesterday and everything was cool.”

As it stands right now, things are not cool. And odds are Mark Pavelich and the MFC crew have made business personal in their decision to strip Antonio McKee of his title.

Here's the big BUT again.

BUT, Antonio McKee is already moving on. TopMMANews reported that McKee is scheduled to fight Rafaello Oliveria at CCF 6: Bushido on July 23. I personally contacted Mr. McKee who confirmed the report.

CCF, short for Colosseo Championship Fighting, is the controversial Canadian promotion that has stirred up a bit of controversy by staging contests under Pride Rules. CCF 6 will be no different. With CCF 6, McKee joins a stacked, if not interesting card nonetheless. The card features some familiar names, to include Dream Welterweight Champion Marius Zaromskis, former KOTC Heavyweight and Light Heavyweight Champion Tony Lopez, and KOTC Bantamweight Champion Donald Sanchez among others.

At any rate, it will be very interesting to see how McKee fairs under Pride rules. Unified MMA rules are generally regarded as favoring wrestlers, and Antonio McKee has established himself as a bonifide MMA-wrestler.

As for Mark Pavelich & Co.

The MFC, again, as much as I appreciate their shows, has to do better than this. With Canadian MMA on the rise, and the opportunity that the post-Zuffa purchase of Strikeforce presents, the MFC finds itself in a very advantageous situation. However, that same situation is a very fragile one in which there is no room for error. Outrageous things like this rarely ever occur in the UFC which is partly the reason why they are so successful, so while Mark Pavelich continues to drink UFC haterade, I think it's time he took a lesson.

Anyway, here's to a successful MFC 30 show. The promo vid is already available thanks to the big homey Genghis Con!

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