Friday, June 10, 2011

Promotional Warfare: MFC and Aggression MMA Go Head-to-Head Tonight!!!

In just a couple of hours from now, two of Canada's top MMA promotions will put on MMA events. The Maximum Fighting Championships and Aggression MMA will both present cards from Edmonton, Alberta in Canada tonight. The cross-town rivals are engaging in a promotional warfare of sorts. So far, the drama behind tonight's event battle has largely gone unspoken. But you can always count on the Fight Jerk to get the male-o-drama wheels turning.

It's no coincidence that both promotions are staging shows on the same night. Simply put, the organizations can't stand each other. Being a few thousand miles away from the drama in Edmonton puts me at a geographical disadvantage when it comes to feeling out the situation in Edmonton, but the convenience of technology has allowed me to gather some street level information on the MFC-AMMA blood feud.

Here's a short list on the talk in Edmonton and around Canada regarding the MFC-AMMA situation and other tidbits:
  • Canadian welterweight Ryan Ford is at the center of the MFC-AMMA situation. The Edmonton-based fighter was once a mainstay with the MFC before jumping ship to The Fight Club amidst tensions between Ford and MFC president Mark Pavelich. After four fights with TFC, Ryan Ford returned to the MFC, dropping a second round to Doug Lima in a welterweight title affair, and defeating Pete Spratt by way of submission. However, after his win over Spratt, Ryan Ford signed on with Aggression. According to Mark Pavelich, Ford was still under MFC contract at the time and sought legal action. I can't speak for the outcome of any legal dispute that may have take place, but Ford has since fought twice following the incident -- once with AMMA in March, and a second time in March, for Jones Entertainment Group in which he defeated UFC vet Karo Parisyan.
  • Earlier this week Aggression MMA announced a "pact" with another Canadian promotion, Armaggedon MMA. My sources in Canada tell me that this pact was formed in order to punk the MFC.
  • Right now AMMA has the better venue, but the MFC will enjoy better television viewership via HDNet.
  • Call me a Mark Pavelich bully, but this last bullet actually comprises info that I've pulled from folks on the ground in Canada and internet sources. From what I've gathered, the MFC is loosing chamions (Douglas Lima didn't renew contract and has signed with Bellator). They are also publicly making bad business decisions for their fighters (Antonio McKee apparenly didn't agree to "mutually vacate" the MFC lightweight title).  Word is other drama, that is still unclear to me, led to the MFC moving from their previous home, the River Cree Casino, but if I were to connect the dots, I might say it had something to do with former River Cree boxing commssioner, Dale Kliparchuk. Responding to Pavelich's article on "celebrity boxers," Big John McCarthy responded via the UG. In part McCarthy said:
"This whole thing stems from a letter written by Dale Kliparchuk and Brian Beauchamp back in the beginning of March trying to show that Beauchamp should be working at the UFC in Toronto. Dale use to run the commission at River Cree where Pavelich ran a majority of his MFC shows. Dale has recently been removed from his position and is no longer part of any commission."
The promotional beef between Aggression MMA and the MFC is essentially a war to decide who is the king MMA promotion of Canada. This is a war that can only be won through fan opinion -- who the fans love more. Tonight's events, MFC 30 and AMMA 7, stage the first battle in what I expect will be a much longer, deadly war.

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MFC 30 and AMMA 7 cards follow:

Maximum Fighting Championship
MFC 30 - Unplugged 4: "Up Close and Personal"
June 10, 2011
Mayfield Inn Trade and Conference Centre,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Drew Fickett vs. Brian Cobb
Marcus Davis vs. Pete Spratt
Thomas Denny vs. Sheldon Westcott
Curtis Demarce vs. Robert Washington
Andreas Spang vs. Cody Krahn
Dhiego Lima vs. Jamie Toney
Scott Cleve vs. Mukai Maromo

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Aggression MMA: "Confrontation"
June 10, 2011
Shaw Conference Center,
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Ryan Ford vs. Nick Hinchliffe
Shane Campbell vs. Myles Merola
Luke Harris vs. John Troyer
Jason Gorny vs. Elmer Waterhen
Steve Beaumont vs. James Haddad
Rio Wells vs. Mark Burns
Levi Kump vs. Mark Maruzs
Mark Sawka vs. James Edwards
Paapa Inkumsah vs. Dajan Kajic

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